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Zbc Expectations of an ©pttmist 



Author of 
" A Guardian of the Poor," " The Mandate," etc. 


A. C. McClurg & Co. 

There is a history in all men's lives, 
Figuring the nature of the times deceased ; 
The which observed, a man may prophesy, 
With a near aim, of the main chance of things 
As yet not come to life ; which in their seeds 
And weak beginnings lie intreasured. 

ShakesI'EARE, 2 Henry IV., III. i. 

They pass through whirl-pools, and deep woes do shun. 
Who the event weigh, 'ere the action's done. 

Webster, Duchess of Malfi, II. 4. 

All Riskts Reserved 



The following was at first intended to be no more 
than an attempt to foresee the probable trend of 
mechanical invention and scientific discovery during 
the present century. But as the work took shape 
it was seen to involve a certain amount of what may 
be called moral conjecture, since the material pro- 
gress of the new age could not very well be imagined 
without taking into account its mental characteristics. 
In these expectations of an optimist, a great ethical 
improvement of the civilised human race has been 
anticipated, and a rate of progress foreseen which 
perhaps no previous writers have looked for. Both 
in regard to moral development and material pro- 
gress, it has been the aim of the author to predict 
nothing that the tendencies of existing movement do 
not justify us in expecting. 

An attempt of this kind is exposed to facile criticism. 
It will be easy for objectors to signalise this or that 
expected invention as beyond scientific possibility, 
that or the other moral reform as fit only for Utopia. 
But those who will consent to perpend the enormous 
and utterly unforeseen advance of the nineteenth 
century will recognise the danger of limiting their 
anticipations concerning the possibilities of the 
twenty-first. A fanciful description in (I think) 
Addison's Spectator of an invention by which the 
movements of an indicator on a lettered dial were 
imagined to be reproduced on a similar dial at a 


distance, and employed as a means of communication, 
must have seemed wholly chimerical to its readers ; 
and even as recently as fifty years ago, anyone who 
predicted the telephone would have been laughed at. 
When the principle of the accumulator was already 
discovered a very competent practical electrician told 
the writer that he need not worry himself much 
about the idea : there was not the least likelihood that 
electricity could ever be " bottled up in cisterns " ! 
On the whole there is more likelihood of error in 
timidity than in boldness when we attempt to foresee 
what will be attained after the increasingly rapid 
movement of scientific progress during this twentieth 
century shall have gathered full force. 

For the rest, criticism of this sort is disarmed, 
because the reader has been in any case invited to 
enter a realm of more or less pure imagination. No 
one can exactly know with what births, monstrous 
or beautiful, the future may teem. Admitting a 
certain point of view — that of almost unrestrained 
optimism — the predictions here offered will, it is 
believed, be found to be along the line of existing 

Beaufort House, 


I. The Rate of Progress 

II. Housing, Travel and Population 

III. The Man of Business 

IV. The Cult of Pleasure 

V. The Newspaper of the Future and the 
Future of the Newspaper 

VI. Utilising the Sea . 

VIL The March of Science 

VIII. Education a Hundred Years Hence 

IX. Religion : the Fine Arts, Literature 

X. The Age of Economies 

XI. The Law a Hundred Years Hence 

xn. Conclusions 

INDEX .... 













A Hundred Years Hence 



To anyone who has considered at all attentively 
the enormous material advances of the nine- 
teenth century, a much more remarkable thing 
than any invention or improvement which that 
century brought forth must be the speed of 
human progression during the hundred years 
between 1800 and 1900, and the extraordinary 
acceleration of that speed which began to 
establish itself about the year 1880. But in- 
deed, during the whole century, our forward 
movement was steadily gaining impetus. The 
difference between the state of the world in 
1700 and its state in 1800 is insignificant com- 
pared with the differences established between 
the latter date and the opening of the twentieth 
century. But it is hardly less insignificant than 
the progress of the decade 1800- 18 10 compared 
with that of the decade 1890- 1900. We are, 
in fact, picking up speed at an enormous rate. 



The beginning of the twenty-first century will 
exhibit differences, when compared with our 
own day, which even the boldest imagination 
can hardly need to be restrained in conjecturing. 
The latter part of the nineteenth century was 
the age of electricity, just as the middle part 
was the age of steam. The first part of the 
twentieth century is evidently going to be the 
age of wave manipulation, of which wireless 
telegraphy, as we know it, is but the first in- 
fantile stirring. 

What the developments promised (and they 
are already quite easily presageable) by wire- 
less telegraphy will give us, and what they will 
be superseded by, can only be very dimly 
imagined ; what their effects will be upon the 
human race in itself no one has yet ventured 
even to hint at. Few things are more remark- 
able in the numerous and highly-varied experi- 
ments of vaticinatory fiction and more serious 
efforts of prognostication than the utter absence 
of any adequate attempt to forecast the future 
of the race itself. Social and political changes, 
the enormous differences which are certain 
to be effected in the manner of human life, 
have been from time to time more or less 
boldly imagined, and a couple of volumes of 
very able forecasts of the future have recently 
been published by a writer of singular vision 
and highly-trained scientific imagination. But 
it does not hitherto appear to have been at all 


fully perceived that the moral constitution of 
man himself is quite certain to be profoundly 
modified, not alone by the influence of a 
material environment which will have been 
changed as the environment of man has never 
been changed since the first inhabitation of this 
planet, but also by the steady development of 
inward changes which have already begun to 
manifest themselves. Since the year 1800 
ideas which, so far as we have any means of 
knowing, had been regarded as irrefragable 
ever since man first began to think and to set 
his thoughts upon record, have been utterly 
shattered. One has only to compare the 
opinions of even average thinkers of our own 
day on such subjects as marriage, the status of 
woman, and the education of children, with the 
opinions, practically current without material 
change since the dawn of history, in 1800, to 
perceive the truth of this statement ; and the 
change of attitude on the part of civilised 
people, outside the Roman Catholic Church 
(and, to some extent, even within it), towards 
religion is not less remarkable. An en- 
lightened man of the present day is so radically 
different in all his ideas from a similar in- 
dividual of the early nineteenth century, that it 
is hardly possible for a modern student to write 
with any intelligence on the deeper significance 
of events and life prior to 1800. Grotesquely 
inadequate as most historical novels of our own 


day are, they are perhaps hardly less in- 
adequate than our own understanding of the 
novels of Sir Walter Scott. Scott could 
probably write of crusaders and the age of 
chivalry without committing serious blunders 
of sentiment. What the world thought in the 
age of Saladin the world practically thought in 
the age of Napoleon. But the irresistible in- 
fection of modern ideas has made it hardly 
possible for us to enter with any fulness into 
the sentiments of Scott ; and the sentiments 
put into the mouth, and the thoughts into the 
mind, of the hero of any historical novel of our 
own day would be utterly incomprehensible to 
that hero, could he by some miracle be resusci- 
tated, and could we translate them literally to 
him. We unconsciously endow the personages 
of our historical fiction with ideas for which 
they had not even the names. 

And the development of the human mind 
proceeds apace. It will be even more difficult 
for the ordinary cultured man of a hundred 
years hence to form any full conception of our 
ideas than it is for us to appraise the mental 
attitude of the men of the eighteenth century. 
To take a single example : the humanest warrior 
of the Napoleonic wars appears a monster of 
cruelty if compared with the sternest of modern 
generals. Napoleon devastated provinces 
without a word of censure from competent 
critics of the art of war. A howl of execration 


went up, not from continental Europe alone, at 
the measures — seriously embarrassing to our 
military operations, and enormously helpful to 
our enemy — which the British generals took in 
order to diminish the sufferings of the non- 
combatant population of the Transvaal ; camps 
of refuge, it appears, did not sufficiently excel 
in comfort the hospitals of our own wounded ! 
And there is a section of the Press in this 
country which still occasionally remembers, to 
complain of it, the fact that our generals found 
it necessary, for military reasons, to burn farm- 
houses. I should not like to attempt the con- 
jecture, what Wellington would have said in 
answer to such a complaint, or what he would 
have done to a self-appointed emissary who 
visited his camps for the purpose of criticising 
his action! It would have been no more im- 
possible for him to foresee the day of such 
things, however, than it is for us to predict the 
moral sense of the year 2000. The fact is that 
we have greatly deteriorated in war, although, 
or rather because, we have even more greatly 
improved in morals and feeling. William 
Morris conceived of man in the comino- time as 
a sort of recreated mediaeval. Mr Wells con- 
ceives him as practically a nineteenth-century 
man, with his ideas merely adjusted to new 
material conditions. Bellamy described him in 
terms of a being inconceivable by any sort of 
reason. No one appears to have seen that his 


moral nature will have been not merely revolu- 
tionised, but recreated, just as our own morality 
has been recreated during the last hundred 
years, not so much by the influence of material 
environment or the march of invention, as by 
the regeneration of human conscience. 

In no way will the acceleration of the speed 
of progress be more apparent than in the 
thoughts and emotions of men. But to say 
this is not to belittle the progress which science 
and invention have in store for the new age. 
In applying a sort of imaginative telescope to 
the mental eye it will be necessary to keep con- 
stantly in view the utter inconceivableness of 
modern achievement by the civilised world of 
the past. When electricity was no more than 
a sort of scientific plaything — when notions of 
its possible uses were (as in Davy's time) far 
less substantially imagined than, for instance, 
the possible uses of radium are to-day, even 
scientific thinkers, endowed with what Huxley 
so luminously applauded as scientific imagina- 
tion, had no rudiment of the materials for con- 
ceiving such inventions as the electric telegraph 
— far less the possibilities of transmitted and 
picked-up wave energy. And here, at the 
beginning of wireless telegraphy, we are no less 
in the dark as to what will develop from it 
and what will supersede it. The nineteenth 
century progressed, almost from first to last, on 
the strength of the discovery of how to utilise 


the stored energy of coal, whether directly in 
the steam engine or indirectly in the dynamo- 
electric machine and the electric motor. With 
the end of the coal age already well in view, we 
can only conjecture what the sources of 
mechanical power will be a hundred years 
hence. Before we have quite exhausted our 
coal measures and begun to draw more liberally 
on our stores of petroleum, we shall no doubt 
have abandoned altogether so wasteful a con- 
trivance as the steam engine. There is a 


clumsiness almost barbarous in the roundabout 
employment of coal to produce heat, the steam 
engine to utilise only a miserable fraction of 
the potential energy even of the part of the 
coal which we do not fatuously allow to escape 
as smoke ; of the dynamo to use up a part of 
the motion yielded by the steam engine in pro- 
ducing electricity (while a small but recognis- 
able portion of that motion is converted 
wastefully back again into heat), and of the 
electro-motor to re-convert the electricity into 
motion, heat, light and chemical energy, 
according to our requirements. It cannot be 
many years before we learn to use coal far more 
economically than we do nowadays, abolishing 
the furnace and the steam engine, and obtain- 
ing electricity directly from coal itself by some 
sort of electro-chemical decomposition. But 
even so, our coal will not last much longer. 
The speed of our progress will exhaust it much 


sooner than most people imagine, and probably 
in another twenty-five years the end of our 
petroleum will also begin to be looked forward 
to with apprehension. 

About this period, or perhaps immediately 
after, progress will have been accelerated to 
an enormous degree by the invention of some 
new method of decomposing water. The 
economical analysis of water into its two 
component gases, whose chemical affinity and 
antipodal electrical attractions are already 
utilised to some extent in such appliances as 
the oxy-hydrogen blowpipe and electrical 
storage batteries, is a secret capable of extra- 
ordinary beneficences to the new age. By 
burning hydrogen in oxygen we can already 
produce the greatest heat practically needed in 
the arts ; the electric furnace only superseding 
this process because it happens to be more 
manageable. But when we want oxygen and 
hydrogen, we do not, in practice, now obtain 
them from water : we only combine them as 
water in the act of utilisation. The rational 
line of progress is obviously to seek means of 
directly decomposing water. When we can 
do this compendiously and economically we 
shall have an inexhaustible supply of energy 
— for water thus used is not destroyed as 
water, as coal is destroyed, qua coal, when we 
utilise its stored energy. The very act of 
utilisinor the phases recombines them : and we 


can use them thus for the production of almost 
every kind of energy that man at present needs. 
We can use them for heat by burning them 
together. We can use them for Hght by burn- 
ing them in the presence of any substance 
capable of being made incandescent. We 
shall be able to use them to generate electricity 
by some sort of contrivance akin to the 
accumulator of the present day (a highly 
rudimentary invention) ; and it would be even 
now a very simple matter to utilise their 
explosive recombination for the direct produc- 
tion of power as motion. Utilised apart, the 
constituent gases of water have many other 
uses and possible uses. Hydrogen, under 
suitable treatment, yields the greatest obtain- 
able cold, as oxygen and hydrogen together 
yield the greatest heat. If our flying-machines 
need a sort of ballast to reinforce their 
mechanical lifting apparatus, hydrogen is the 
best possible assistant. And the probable uses 
of oxygen are yet more numerous. So long 
as we still burn anything at all except a 
mixture of oxygen and hydrogen — and 
ultimately we shall have nothing else left to 
burn — oxygen is capable of multiplying the 
efficiency of all combustion. One of the 
greatest problems of our own day is the dis- 
posal of waste products of all sorts — the 
sources of inconvenience, disease and dirt. 
Oxygen, if readily and copiously obtainable, is 


capable of destroying them all. Indeed, it 
seems likely that medicine, the least progressive 
of the sciences to-day, will find in oxygen the 
great propulsive force of its forward move- 
ment. In considerably less than a hundred 
years hence such makeshifts as drugging, and 
the fighting of one disease by the instalment 
in the organism of another, will certainly have 
gone by the board. Antisepsis and Asepsis 
(the latter almost infinitely the greatest inven- 
tion in the history of therapeutics) will have 
pushed their way from surgery into medicine. 
There are numerous diseases which can be 
not merely cured, but ultimately abolished 
when we have once discovered how to use 
oxygen adequately. The readjustment of the 
conditions of life determined by the removal 
from the civilised world of the greater number 
of diseases, and perhaps of all diseases except 
those arising out of wilful misconduct (as im- 
proper diet) and even by the elimination of 
most of the evils of hurry and overwork (for 
what are medically and chemically known 
as fatigue products can almost certainly be 
eliminated from the system by the proper use, 
yet to be discovered, of oxygen) must in- 
evitably have an enormous influence not 
merely upon the physical life of man, but also, 
and even more, upon his mental constitution. 
The rate of progress will thus in yet another 
way be vastly accelerated. 


Most likely the universal source of power, 
then, before the middle of the century, will be 
the recomposition of water — in other words, we 
shall get all the power we want by splitting 
up water into oxygen and hydrogen, and then 
allowing those gases to recombine, thereby 
returning to us the energy we have employed 
in the analysis. How we shall employ this 
power is largely for the future to decide, and 
certainly in the earlier future we shall employ 
it in the generation of etheric waves of various 
kinds. The world of science is visibly on the 
threshold of new and revolutionary discoveries 
on the nature and composition of matter, and 
whither these discoveries will lead us it is not 
usefully possible to conjecture. But certainly, 
after the usual incubation period of a scientific 
discovery — when it is merely a sort of wonder- 
ful toy, as argon and radium are at present — 
there will come the practical men, suckled at 
the large and noble breasts of disinterested, 
unremunerative truth, and ready to turn that 
nutriment into world-moving material useful- 
ness : so, again, the rate of progress will receive 
a vast and valuable acceleration. Electricity, 
whose gift to the world has been so great, 
will probably not, until after several decades, 
approach the limits of its realm, and so long 
as electricity remains a considerable element 
in the utilisation of those stores of dissipating 
energy by which the planet lives, it is possible 


to foresee something of what will become of 
man during the next age. 

We have here the limits of such an inquiry 
as the present. Placing the end of the age 
of electricity at provisionally about a hundred 
years hence (but it is quite conceivable that 
the rate of progress may overtake it earlier 
and shut the door on conjecture) it is possible 
to forecast, not indeed with certainty, but with 
a measure of imaginative probability, what will 
happen as the resources of electricity are 
developed and the other material amenities of 
the world are worked alonor the line of natural 
progress. So far as the light of analogy can 
point the way the reader is invited on a sort 
of conjectural journey. Of the developments 
of the moral ideas of man likely to be deter- 
mined, not so much by the coming change in 
his material environment, as by the evolution 
of inner forces already at work, I propose to 
say something at the end of the book. In 
the meantime, the probable material changes 
in the next hundred years (or less, according 
to the rate of our progress) in various depart- 
ments of life will be the subject of some inter- 
mediate conjectures. 



When every allowance has been made for the 
material changes which the progress of this 
century threatens, it is easy to see that certain 
present-day problems will continue to trouble 
our successors. Some things which perplex 
ourselves will, I think, work out their own 
remedy. Others will remain the subject of 
solutions not difficult to be imagined in 

One chief difficulty which will infallibly con- 
front the immediate future, and even the future 
that is more remote, arises out of the simple 
fact that the race of man tends to increase 
numerically at a speed greater than our de- 
vices for its accommodation can quite con- 
veniently cope with. The population of the 
world not only increases, but increases at 
compound interest. Nor is this all. Improved 
sanitation, better habits of life, and the progress 
of medicine, prolong lives that in the conditions 
of last century would have been shortened, and 
the rate of increase is thus further accelerated, 



as individuals who in different conditions would 
have died, live on, perhaps reproducing their 
species, and thus intensifying the population 
problem. Against these influences may be set 
the effect of the restrictions imposed by some 
civilised peoples on the birth rate, which 
Mr Roosevelt calls " race suicide." These 
practices, just now increasingly prevalent, retard 
the rate of increase, but do not at present stop 
our increase : they alleviate, but do not cure 
the difficulty of over-population. Artificial 
physiological checks on population, if I am right 
in certain other conjectures to be presently 
developed, will not form part of the permanent 
morality of the new age, partly because, with 
more enlightenment, they will be voluntarily 
abandoned or superseded, and partly because 
the necessity for them will have disappeared, 
having worked out its own cure. 

But with all this it would be folly to antici- 
pate that the population of the civilised world 
will not have greatly increased before the end 
of the period contemplated by the present 
inquiry : and this brings us face to face with 
two very important questions — those of 
housing and transport. Where shall we live, 
and how shall we move from place to place — 
above all, how shall we proceed from home to 
the scene of work and thence home again every 
day, in the future .'* Shall we indeed thus 
move back and forth at all ? 


The answer to the last question bifurcates 
somewhat. In the earHer future of (say) twenty 
or thirty years hence, probably the greatest 
tendencies will be towards concentration on 
the one hand and exceedingly rapid transport 
on the other. What the ultimate practice will 
be, it should not be difficult to guess when we 
see how these tendencies are likely to work 
themselves out. 

During the last twenty-five or thirty years 
of the nineteenth century the tendency of 
workers in great cities was more and more 
towards suburban life, men travelling to and 
from the cities in increasing numbers, to in- 
creasing distances, and at increasing speeds. 
Even mechanics, even labourers and the other 
humbler wage-earners (to say nothing of clerks 
not earning much more, but spending their 
money in a different manner) nowadays travel 
considerable distances to their work. But in 
spite of what is complacently regarded (by 
railway and tramway directors) as rapid con- 
veyance, there is lately manifest an increasing 
impatience against the time subtracted from 
men's leisure by the two daily journeys, an 
impatience very naturally increased in the case 
of manual workers of both sexes by the utter 
inadequacy of the legislative control imposed 
upon railway and tramway companies. 

Crowded trams and trains, with desperate 
men and weak women fighting a daily battle for 


conveyance before all the cheap trips have been 
made, inflict a shameful degradation upon the 
class for which Parliament makes illusory pro- 
vision in railway and tramway Acts. As a 
consequence of this difficulty, and also because 
of the early hour at which the companies are 
allowed to cease carrying working-folk at the 
workmen's fare, many men and women are 
compelled to waste some hours of their scanty 
leisure every day between the arrival of their 
trains and the opening of their workshops, a 
cruelty for which the blame may be pretty 
equally apportioned to Parliament and the com- 
pany directors. The result of it is that many 
of the poor prefer the evil of overcrowding in 
cities before the greater evil of wasted time and 
de^radinCT travel. As time ooes on, no doubt 
the monopolists of transportation will be com- 
pelled, as their own necessities increase and 
so bring them under the hand of the legislature, 
to serve more adequately the necessities of the 
majority. But even so, and as long as the 
effective speed of conveyance is limited by the 
lack of permanent- way space and the necessity 
for frequent stations, the impatience even now 
manifested, and manifested chiefly by the class 
which suffers least from loss of time in travel, 
will lead to concentration. Taking London as 
an example, it may be said that the Victorian 
ao;e was the acre of the suburbs. But few 
people now live in the suburbs of London who 


can afford to live anywhere else. Either they 
move right out into the country, seeking a spot 
on some main line where the greater distance 
and less-frequent train service is made up for 
by speedy and uninterrupted journeys ; or 
they come into London and occupy houses or 
flats within easy reach of their working head- 
quarters. The suburbs are given over to those 
who cannot afford either of these expedients, 
or who, having been brought up there, are 
retained by a sort of inertia. Ultimately, as 
the demand for town space becomes intensified, 
two things will happen. First of all, the 
restrictions which many cities, ignoring the 
freedom of New York and Chicago, impose 
upon the erection of excessively high buildings, 
will go by the board. The shutting out of 
sunlight and fresh air will be the subject of 
compensations to be presently explained, and 
thirty, forty, fifty or a hundred-storey houses, 
and houses which perhaps burrow to some 
distance underground, will, by virtue of the 
same compensations, house a vast, concentrated 
population impatient of daily travel. As the 
demand for homes increases, and even the 
high buildings cannot cope with it, the cities 
will push their way outwards, repopulating the 
rebuilt suburbs. This kind of thing will have 
a tendency to correct itself. Rents will be 
high in proportion to position near the centre. 
But a limit of toleration will be reached, and as 


certain improvements will have been effected 
in transport, there will ultimately be a reaction, 
and people will again go right out to the 
country, as long as there is any country left. 
Before discussing these improvements, how- 
ever, it will be convenient to examine the con- 
veniences, social and sanitary, of the homes of 
the new age. The greatest convenience of 
all, no doubt, will be the modification and 
partial elimination of the domestic servant. 
There is every reason to believe that the 
great difficulties of the servant question as at 
present experienced will solve themselves, 
forming in part an instance of the moral 
changes, accompanying material invention but 
only partly resulting from it, which the new 
age is certain to experience. It is usual to 
lay the blame of the unsatisfactory character 
and atrocious inefficiency of the domestic 
servants of our own day on the institution 
of free education. They are much more due 
to the absence of any education worthy of the 
name, and to the imperfect civilisation of 
modern houses. Thirty-five years or so are 
but an instant in the life of an institution so 
overwhelmingly more important in its possi- 
bilities than any other subject of legislation 
as State-compelled education of the people. 
No one appears to have recognised that 
character - making, which Herbert Spencer 
called the most important object which can 


engage the attention of the legislator, is the 
only true object of education, free or other- 
wise. When politicians have talked of the 
necessity of national education, the argument 
they have used was that Germans are better 
chemists than we are. When they praised the 
usefulness of modern languages it was in terms 
of commercial utility. " Modern languages, 
in fact" (a recent critic remarked), "make a 
good bagman." It is inept to despair of free 
education because free education has produced 
no very satisfactory results while conceived 
of as a process of shoving undesired knowledge 
into the children of the poor. Looking, as 
everyone not hidebound by pessimism must 
look, for a great enlightenment of the law-giving 
class when the system of party politics, already 
beginning to show signs of decay, has ceased 
to hold all legislation in its blighting hand, we 
have every reason to expect that the true uses 
of education will be perceived and attained 
long before the end of the period contemplated 
when we speak of the new age. And then, 
one very great factor in the servant question 
will have been satisfactorily solved, even if 
other conditions have not conducted us nearly 
all the way to the solution beforehand. 

For, while making every allowance for the 
evil effects of education, wrongly conceived 
and improperly administered, on the character 
of women destined to become servants, it must 


be allowed that much of what we call the 
servant difficulty could be cured now, and 
will unquestionably be cured before long, by 
inventions capable of abolishing the grievances 
which lead to it. These orrievances are real 
and remediable. I do not refer to the con- 
finement, restraint and gross lack of con- 
sideration on the part of employers which 
lead young women of the class from which 
servants are drawn to prefer labour in factories 
and elsewhere, in conditions far less comfort- 
able, before domestic service ; but to our utter 
lack of ingenuity in removing the irksomeness 
and degradation of much domestic labour. 
Some coming inventions calculated to improve 
the lot of Mary Jane will now be described. 

In the first place (as Mr H. G. Wells has 
pointed out, without apparently being aware 
that buildings already exist in which some 
of his ideas have been anticipated), modern 
rooms, equally with those of all time, seem to 
have been constructed so as to make it as 
difficult as possible to keep them clean. 
Square corners and rectangular junctions of 
wall and floor, wall and ceiling, will certainly 
before long be replaced everywhere by curves. 
But the work of house cleaning will be 
rendered easy and unlaborious by another 
invention, already indeed in existence on a 
large scale, but eventually capable of being 
rendered portable. I mean a contrivance for 


applying a vacuum to any desired spot. There 
is a very ingenious but rather noisy engine 
already in use for pumping the dust out of 
carpets, curtains and furniture. In the houses 
of the future handy contrivances of various 
shapes, all independent of any engine, will 
be found, furnished with elastic nozzles on 
the outside and with some sort of appliance 
capable of instantly exhausting the air within. 
Such a utensil wheeled over the floor will 
remove instantly every particle of dust from 
the surface and below the surface of the 
carpet, at the same time picking up any such 
ddbris as scraps of paper, pins, and other 
decidua of the previous day. A similar in- 
strument, differently shaped, will clean the 
curtains, supposing curtains to be still in use 
at the time, and will dust the chairs and tables 
— though there will not be anything like so 
much dust as there is now, nearly all kinds 
of combustion being abolished. The kitchen 
fire will of course be an electric furnace: "o' 
my word we'll not carry coals." Lighting will 
all be electric, and no doubt wireless. The 
abolition of horse traffic in cities, and the use 
of the vacuum apparatus which will be con- 
tinuously at work in all streets, keeping them 
dry and free from mud, will practically remove 
the necessity for boot brushing, even supposing 
that we shall still wear boots : every man and 
woman in dressing will pass a vacuum instru- 


ment over his and her clothes and oret rid of 
even the little dust existing — for we shall be 
more and more intolerant of dirt in any form, 
having by that time fully realised how dangerous 
dirt is. The new age will be a clean age. 
A lady of the year 2000 who could be miracu- 
lously transported back to London at the 
present moment would probably faint (they 
will not have ceased fainting) at t*he intolerable 
disgustingness of what is, I suppose, now one 
of the cleanest cities in the world, even if the 
cruelty of employing horses for traction, and 
the frio^htful recklessness of allowinof them to 
soil the streets in which people walk, did 
not overpower her susceptibilities in another 

Cooking will perhaps not be done at all on 
any large scale at home, in flat-homes at all 
events ; and in any case, for reasons which will 
hereafter become apparent, cooking will be a 
much less disgusting process than it is to-day. 
In no case will the domestic servant of a 
hundred years hence be called upon to stand 
over a roaring fire, laid by herself, and to be 
cleaned up by herself when done with, in order 
to cook the family dinner. Every measure of 
heat — controllable in gradations of ten degrees 
or so — will be furnished in electrically-fitted 
receptacles, with or without water jackets or 
steam jackets : and unquestionably all cooking 
will Lbe done in hermetically-closed vessels. 


We shall not much longer do most of our cook- 
ing- by such a wasteful and unwholesome method 
as boiling, whereby the important soluble salts 
of nearly all food are callously thrown away. 
As, for reasons to be developed hereafter, it is 
quite certain that animal food will have been 
wholly abandoned before the end of this century, 
the ddbris of the kitchen will be much more 
manageable than at present, and the kitchen 
sink will cease to be, during a great part of the 
day, a place of unapproachable loathsomeness. 
On the other hand, its conveniences will have 
been greatly increased. It is difficult to under- 
stand how the old-world fashion of (for in- 
stance) *' washing up " plates and dishes can 
have endured so long. Of course, in the new 
age, these utensils will be simply dropped one 
by one into an automatic receptacle ; swilled 
clean by water delivered with force and charged 
with nascent oxygen ; dried by electric heat ; 
and polished by electric force ; being finally 
oxygen-bathed as a superfluous act of sanitary 
cleanliness before being sent to table again. 
And all that has come off the plates will drop 
through the scullery floor into the destructor 
beneath to be oxygenated and made away 

Here we have most of the distasteful 
elements of domestic service got rid of. 
Naturally lifts of various kinds, driven by the 
same force (whatever it is) which lights and 


warms the house, will be everywhere in evi- 
dence. The plan of attaining the upper part of 
a small house by climbing, on every occasion, 
a sort of wooden hill, covered with carpet of 
questionable cleanliness, will of course have 
been abandoned : it is doubtful whether stair- 
cases will be built at all after the next two or 
three decades. And it is likely that the more 
refined sentiment of the new ag^e will recoil 
before the spectacle of menial service at the 
table. Not because they will despise, but be- 
cause they will respect, their domestic assistants, 
hostesses will dislike to have their guests 
waited upon in a servile manner during meals 
by plush-breeched flunkeys of the male, or 
neat-handed Phyllises of the female, sex. Well- 
arranged houses will have the kitchen on a 
level with the dining-room, and the dividing 
wall will be so contrived that a table, ready laid 
at each course, can be made to slide through it 
into the presence of the seated guests. An 
immense amount of running to and fro between 
kitchen and dining-room, and of lifting food 
and table-ware into and out of elevators, will 
thus be obviated, to the vast gastronomic 
improvement of the meal and the salvation of 
servants' time. 

Naturally the bedrooms of the new age 
will have many amenities lacking to our own. 
It is not too much to anticipate that we shall 
have learned enough of plumbing to be able to 

BEDROOMS AD. 2000 25 

connect baths, wash-basins and other necessary- 
fittings with the drains without poisoning our- 
selves, and the inconvenient modern " wash- 
stand " with its unreticent adjuncts will decently 
disappear. It cannot be very long — probably 
it will only be a few years — before some kind 
of reasonable control is exercised over the 
technical education of plumbers.' 

Thus the bedroom of the new age will be 
a much more convenient and satisfactory 
apartment than the one we slept in last night, 
and another irksome and unelevating part of 
the domestic work of our servants will be 
eliminated. But the sleeping-apartments, and 
indeed all apartments in city homes, will 
contain yet another very valuable and neces- 
sary article of furniture — the oxygenator. 
Nearly all the unhealthiness and the pinched, 
weary greyness of town-dwellers to-day could 
be cured by fresh air. Everyone is familiar 
with the improvement which can be effected in 
the health and appearance of a city family 
by even a short visit to the seaside or the 
country — an improvement which it happens to 
be fashionable just now to attribute, in the 

^ Drains, it might be supposed, would disappear alto- 
gether from the scheme of things in favour of some kind 
of destructors. For reasons connected with a more en- 
lightened view than we have yet reached of certain aspects 
of terrestrial economy, however, I think they will, with 
modifications, still exist. 


former case, to the presence of ozone in the 
sea air. The fact that hoHday-makers are able 
to endure the smell of slowly-decaying seaweed 
with a dash of putrescent fish about it, which 
is called "sea-air," without injury, and even to 
pick up health in the presence of it, is more 
due to the absence of carbon dioxide and other 
deleterious gases of the towns than to anything 
else. The beneficent effects of country air 
are practically all due to the power possessed 
by green vegetation of superoxygenating the 
surrounding air. The atmosphere of cities, or 
at all events of city homes, will presently be 
freed from the products of combustion and 
respiration, and endowed with a slightly- 
increased proportion of oxygen, by artificial 
means. And especially in bedrooms, rendered 
to-day stuffy and unhealthy by the idiotic fear 
of night air which an effete tradition has handed 
down to us, will this reform be in evidence. 
Prudent people to-day insist on large bedroom 
windows — preferably of the French - door 
pattern — and keep them wide open all night. 
But this is attended by inconveniences in cold 
and wet weather ; and while our grandchildren 
will still keep their windows open all night in 
all weathers, they will not be content with this 
alone. There will be a chemical apparatus 
hidden away in some corner, or, built into the 
wall, which will absorb carbon dioxide and at 
the same time slowly give off a certain amount 


of oxygen — ^just enough to raise the oxygena- 
tion of the air to the standard of the best 
country places. And similar appliances will 
be at work in the streets of our cities, so that 
town air will be just as wholesome, just as 
tonic and invigorating, as country air. If the 
theory that the presence of ozone (that is, 
allotropic oxygen) in the sea air is beneficent 
stand the test of time, no doubt ozonators will 
form part of these appliances : but in any case, 
as the high buildings of the new age will 
keep out the sunlight, electric light, carrying 
all the ray-activity of sunlight, and just as 
capable of fostering life and vegetation, will 
serve the streets. Thus, so far as hygiene 
goes, town life will be on a par with country 
life : but many people will prefer the country, 
and means will have to be provided to render 
homes in the country compatible with work in 
the cities. This brings us to the question of 

I do not think that people will, within the 
next hundred years at all events, travel to and 
from work in flying-machines. But no doubt 
the system of railway transport will be revolu- 
tionised. What makes suburban travel so 
slow is, not so much lack of speed on the part 
of the trains, as the necessity for frequent 
stoppage. You cannot satisfactorily run a 
train at sixty miles an hour and stop it every 
minute or so : otherwise sixty miles an hour 


would be quite fast enough, for some decades 
at least, to satisfy all requirements of suburban 
traffic, though it would be, and indeed is, 
ridiculously inadequate for long - distance 
travelling. The expense of increased per- 
manent-way hampers railway management, 
and as there is no possibility of getting more 
land to increase the number of available tracks, 
some method will have to be devised for run- 
ning one train over the top of another — perhaps 
to the height of several storeys, not necessarily 
provided with supporting rails : for we may 
very conceivably have discovered means by 
which vehicles can be propelled above the 
ground in some kind of guide-ways, doing 
away with the great loss of power caused by 
wheel friction ; that is to say, the guides will 
direct, but not support, the carriages. The 
clumsy device of locomotive engines will have 
been dispensed with. Whatever power is em- 
ployed to drive the trains of the next century 
will certainly be conveyed to them from central 

But, as the reader has been already re- 
minded, it is the stoppages which are so 
wasteful of time on a suburban railway : and 
they are also wasteful of force. Now in all 
respects the new age will be economical. 
One thing that will have to be perfected is the 
art of getting up speed. Look, as you go 
home to-night, at the way your train gathers 


speed on leaving a station. Observe what a 
lonor time it is before it can attain its full 
velocity. A large part of the total time you 
require in order to reach the suburbs is con- 
sumed in this manner. A hundred years hence 
trains will almost jump to full speed, somewhat 
as a motor-car jumps to-day. In collecting 
passengers at suburban stations, the train, a 
hundred years hence, will perhaps not stop 
at all. It will only slacken speed a little ; but 
the platform will begin to move as the train 
approaches, and will run along beside it, at the 
same speed as the train itself, so that passengers 
can get in and out as if the train were standing 
still. When all are aboard, the doors will 
be closed all together by the guard, and the 
platform will reverse its motion, and return 
to its original position ready for the next 

With trains travelling at quite 200 miles an 
hour — and certainly nothing less will satisfy 
the remoter suburbanites of next century — 
frightful accidents would occur if precautions 
were not taken. The moment two trains are 
in the same section of line they will be 
automatically cut off from the source of power, 
and their brakes will at the same time bring 
them to a standstill. A passenger who put 
his head out of the window of a train travellinor 


at this speed would be blinded and suffocated ; 
so the windows will be glazed, the oxygenators 


and carbon-dioxide absorbers in each carriage 
keeping the air sweet, and other suitable 
appliances adjusting its temperature. There 
will be no such thing as level crossings ; 
wherever the road crosses the line there will 
be bridges, provided with an endless moving 
track (like the automatic staircase at the 
Crystal Palace), to carry passengers and 
vehicles across. Of course horses will long 
since have vanished from the land, except as 
instruments of the pleasure of a few cranks 
who affect the manners of that effete period, 
the year 1900. 

And the omnipresence of high-speed 
vehicles will in itself have eliminated much 
danger of accident. It is not to be supposed 
that the unresting march of mechanical im- 
provement will have failed to have its effect on 
the people. Man himself will have progressed. 
He will be cleverer in avoiding accidents. 
Cities will be provided with moving street- 
ways, always in action at two or more speeds ; 
and we shall have learned to hop on and off 
the lowest speed from the stationary pavement, 
and from the lower speeds to the higher, 
without danger. When streets cross, one 
rolling roadway will rise in a curve over the 
other. There will be no vehicular traffic at 
all in cities of any size ; all the transportation 
will be done by the roads' own motion. In 
smaller towns, and for getting from one town 


to another, automatic motor-cars will exist, 
coin-worked. A man who wishes to travel 
will step into a motor-car, drop into a slot- 
machine the coin which represents the hire of 
the car for the distance he wants to travel, and 
assume control. Here again the progress of 
man will come into play. Everyone will know 
how to drive a motor-car safely. If you doubt 
it, consider for a moment the position of a man 
of 1800 suddenly transported into a street of 
modern London. He would never be able to 
cross it ; the rush of omnibuses, motors and 
bicycles would confuse and frighten him. 
Imagine the same man trying to use the 
underground railways of to-day, or to get up to 
town from a busy suburb in the morning. He 
would either be killed out of hand or left 
behind altogether from sheer inability to enter 
the train. 

We may safely suppose that the ocean ships 
of a hundred years hence will be driven by 
energy of some kind transmitted from the 
shores on either side. It is absolutely un- 
questionable that no marine engine in the 
least resembling what we know to-day can 
meet the requirements of the new age. The 
expense of driving a steamship increases in 
such a ratio to its size and speed that the 
economic limits of steam propulsion are fore- 
seen. Probably the ships of a.d. 2000 will 
differ entirely in appearance from those we 


know. Just as road friction is the bugbear of 
the railway engineer, so water-resistance is the 
bugbear of the marine engineer. The ships of 
a hundred years hence will not lie in the water. 
They will tower above the surface, merely 
skimming it with their keels, and the only 
engines they will carry will be those which 
receive and utilise the energy transmitted to 
them from the power-houses ashore — perhaps 
worked by the force of the very tides of the 
conquered ocean itself. 

The housing problem is so intimately and 
visibly connected in our minds with the growth 
of population that the more vital entanglement 
of the latter with the food question is hardly 
perceptible except to economic experts. The 
ordinary newspaper reader is not in a position 
to trace the intimate significance of prices ; 
indeed, he often regards it as rather a good 
thing that wheat should fetch a good price 
per quarter, forgetting that low prices for 
commodities mean increased purchasing power 
for money, and a better standard of life for the 
people. When such elementary implications 
as this are overlooked, it is hardly remarkable 
that the more obscure connection of population 
with prices is never thought of. Yet it is 
obvious that unless the sources of supply 
increase more rapidly than the consuming 
population, prices must rise — in other words, 
the purchasing power of money must diminish. 


Wages, to some extent, will no doubt rise also, 
but as competition seriously affects the markets 
for manufactured goods and machinery, and 
the increase of population not only tends to 
raise prices of commodities, but also restricts 
the rise of wages, relief will have to be found 
in economies of various sorts. The standard 
of comfort in working families must improve 
considerably ; partly because the demand for 
improvement, taking the shape of industrial 
combination and trade-unionism developed to 
a high degree, will be more and more clamor- 
ous ; partly because of public feeling. What 
is currently called the growth of sentimentalism 
in modern life is really the development of 
modern conscience. No doubt the abolition 
of judicial torture was at one time regarded as 
a mark of absurd sentimentality ; and the 
opinion has already been expressed that a 
vast amelioration of public morality is in 
store for the new ag-e. A oreat element in 
the conflict between comfort on the one 
hand and competition on the other will be 
economy of means. That is why the new 
age will, among other things, be an age of 

In the matter of food, chiefly, a great saving 
can be effected. Nothing is more painfully 
ludicrous — I use the incongruous collocution 
advisedly — than the spectacle every winter of 
money being laboriously accumulated for the 


provision of free meals for the poor, and spent, 
to a great extent, so wastefully as on meat 
soups and white bread. The crass ignorance 
of the poor, who will not touch wholemeal 
bread, and indeed regard the offer of it as 
something in the nature of an insult ; and who 
cannot be induced to believe that meat is one 
of the least satisfactory and most expensive 
forms of nourishment, is of course responsible 
in great part for this error. If we would get our 
nitrogen from pulses, nuts, and use vegetable 
fats derived from nuts, and bread made from 
entire wheat-kernels finely ground (instead of 
being only half ground as in most " brown 
breads")' our "free dinner" charities would 
be able to feed at least twice or three times as 
many people for every pound collected as they 
do at present. But the proposal would 
probably excite an outcry and we should hear 
that the poor were being treated as animals 
and that we fain would fill their bellies with 
the husks that the swine do eat. But all kinds 
of influences will tend to eliminate flesh from 
the dietary of the new age. "Growing 
sentimentalism," already in arms against the 
use of animals for highly necessary scientific 
investigations, will, as it develops, be revolted 
bv the idea of killinor for food ; and the refine- 
ment of the future will come to regard the 

' The chief difficulty in utilising the useful integument 
of wheat disappears when the whole grain is finely milled. 


eating of dead bodies as very little better than 
cannibalism. Moreover, the constantly in- 
creasing demand of the new age upon bodily 
and nervous energies will call for nourishment 
suited to their supply. This, and the waste- 
fulness of second-hand food, will banish all 
flesh from the bill of fare. Fish will be eaten 
longer than meat. But more than anything 
else, the need for economy will reform our 
dinner-tables, and eventually all food will have 
to be obtained directly from the soil, if we are 
to have food enough to nourish our overgrown 
population at all. We shall not be able to 
afford to waste the ground on pasturage. We 
must use it to produce cereals, nuts and fruits, 
which are not only a much more remunerative 
crop, but will also use up in their assimilation 
far less nervous and peptic energy — energy 
which we shall need to make the most of. 
The cereal foods — products of wheat, barley, 
maize, and perhaps still (to a certain extent) 
oats — which will form the staple of our diet, 
will be partially cooked at the granaries by 
dry heat ; they will need very little treatment 
at home. Vegetables, cooked, not in the 
wasteful manner now in vogue, but by con- 
servative methods which will preserve their 
valuable saline constituents, will have to be 
prepared in our own kitchens ; but pulse in 
various forms (as pease, lentil flour, etc.) will 
be supplied to us almost wholly cooked. A 


cheap, nourishing and delicious dietary will 
thus be made available. 

Finally, the reader will not be unprepared 
for the opinion that alcohol, as a beverage, 
must inevitably disappear. Not only because 
the price of intoxicants is an unproductive 
expenditure (and we shall have to be more 
and more thrifty as time goes on) but because 
the nerves of the new age would never stand 
them, must all alcoholic beveraofes be regarded 
as destined to obsolescence: and the legislative 
aspect of this question must presently be 
touched upon. Already a considerable part 
of the people, in no way influenced by the 
illogical idea that the abuse of a commodity 
by one class calls for the abstention from it of 
another, refrains from alcohol simply because 
its use inflicts too great a strain on the system. 
A good many people even now find it neces- 
sary to abstain from tea or from coffee for 
precisely similar reasons ; while the highly- 
organised nervous systems of others find in 
the latter a stimulant capable of all the 
advantages of alcohol (and they are many) 
and not without some of its penalties. I think 
it quite likely that when alcohol is gone, the 
nerves of the future may find it necessary to 
place the sale of tea and of coffee under 
restrictions similar to those at present inflicted 
upon the trade in alcohol : and it is quite 
certain that morphia, cocaine, chloral, perhaps 


ether, and similar products, will have to be 
very jealously safeguarded within the next 
few years. 

Differing from many writers, I do not regard 
this development of the nervous system as a 
mark of degeneration. On the contrary, it is 
a part of the great and rapid adaptation which 
is bound to take place in the constitution of 
man himself ' to the rapidly-changing con- 
ditions of his environment, his life, and the 
duties he will have to fulfil. To overlook the 
certainty of such adaptations is to be blind to 
all history, and especially to all recent history. 
The men and women of the new ag^e will 
differ from ourselves in much the same sorX of 
way as we differ from our great-grandfathers. 
They will differ more only because the progress 
of the century which we have lately begun 
will be so much more rapid and various than 
those of the century before — itself the period 
of enormously the greatest changes since the 
world began to be civilised. 

^ It is necessary to say here, as an offset to possible 
misconstruction, that the word "evolution" has been 
purposely abstained from. The processes of evolution are 
far slower than the changes here contemplated. The 
latter are voluntary and purposeful, involving no construc- 
tional alteration in the physical frame of man, but only 
functional modifications, intentionally inaugurated and 



Whatever changes may take place in the 
organisation of society during the present 
century, we may regard it as certain that the 
folk who 

" Rise up to buy and sell again " 

will be always with us. The man of business 
will possess many conveniences denied to the 
city man of to-day. It is, for instance, to be 
supposed that the inordinate defects of even 
the best telephone systems will be eliminated. 
When wireless communication of ideas has 
been perfected, of course the telephone ex- 
change will disappear. Differential "tuning" 
— the process by which any wireless telephone 
will be able to be brought, as transmitter, into 
correspondence with any other wireless tele- 
phone, as receiver — will enable every merchant 
to "call up" every other merchant. Instead 
of, as at present, looking up his associate's 
number in the directory, and getting connected 
by the clumsy junction of wires at an exchange 
office, the merchant will look up the tuning- 



formula, adjust his own telephone to it, and 
ring a bell, or otherwise employ means for 
attracting the attention of the man he wants 
to speak to. As a great proportion of all the 
business transacted will be done by telephones 
the frequent occurrence of disputes as to what 
has or has not been said in a griven conversa- 
tion will have rendered safeguards necessary. 
Consequently, every telephone will be attached 
to an instrument, developed from the phono- 
graph, which will record whatever is said at 
both ends of the line. Precautions will have 
to be devised against eavesdropping. After 
communication is established, probably both 
parties to a conversation will retune their in- 
struments to a fresh pitch, which, in cases 
requiring special secrecy, could be privately 
agreed upon beforehand. 

The form which the records above suggested 
will ultimately assume must be a matter of 
conjecture. It is quite possible that the 
written word may in all departments of life 
lose some of its present vital importance. We 
may imagine, if we choose, that instead of 
creating records which can be read, we may 
find it advisable to create records that can 
be listened to : and some of the apparent in- 
conveniences of this substitution may easily 
be supposed to be dispensed with. The 
handiness of a written memorandum is largely 
a matter of habit. A practised eye can " skim " 


a long document, and either through the use 
of black-type headlines, or by pure skill, alight 
upon exactly the passage required ; and if it 
were necessary, in order to find a given passage, 
to listen to the whole document being read 
over by the recording phonograph, no doubt 
much time would be lost. We shall not be so 
extremely intolerant of loss of time, perhaps, in 
the new age, as some people imagine : but in 
any case, if the speed of the phonograph be ima- 
gined as adjustable, it will be perceived that we 
could then make it gabble parrotwise over the 
inessential, and let it linger with more delibera- 
tion over what we wanted to assure ourselves 
of. We could even "skip" useless portions 
— one can do this with phonographs already 
in use. Probably such aural records may be 
made capable of acceptance in courts of law, 
and the maxim verbum auditum manet will take 
the place of a well-known proverb of our cay. 
Very likely business letters may some day take 
the form of conveniently-shaped tablets, made 
of some plastic material, and capable of being 
utilised by means of a talking machine. 

Or if these changes seem too chimerica], we 
may essay the more difficult task of conceiving 
a means by which the spoken word may be 
directly translatable into print or typewriting. 
The waste of time and energy entailed by the 
present plan of dictating what we want to say 
to a stenographer or into a phonograph, for 


subsequent transcription, renders some sort of 
improvement urgently needful ; nor are these 
wastes the only grievance, as the introduction 
of a second personality into the operation of 
recording speech introduces a simultaneous 
possibility of error, and an outrageous waste 
of time is caused by the necessity of reading 
over what one has dictated laboriously to a 
stenographer or into a phonograph, to make 
sure that it is correctly transcribed. It is 
obviously a much more difficult matter to 
translate speech directly into printed words 
than to translate it into something which may 
again produce the sounds of speech. The 
first step would be the invention of something 
which would print a phonetic representation of 
speech — as, for instance, shorthand of the kind 
invented by Sir Isaac Pitman. Even this 
requires us to imagine machinery of a kind 
whose very rudiments do not at present exist. 
Indeed, we can only conceive such an instru- 
ment by the use of the supposition that some 
entirely new manipulation of sound-waves will 
be discovered ; and if we conceive that, there 
is no particular reason why we should hesitate 
before the notion of speech directly translated 
into print such as we use in everyday life. If 
we are going to limit the possibilities of the 
future by the actual achievements of the 
present, we shall certainly fall short of any 
adequate notion of what a hundred years' 


accelerated progress may be capable of : and 
I do not see wherein the direct reproduction 
suggested is any more inconceivable than, for 
example, telephony, or even photography, must 
have been to a man of a hundred years ago. 
The greatest danger attending our attempt to 
preconceive the amenities of the next century 
is that we may limit our expectations too 

On this ground, perhaps, I may be thought 
too cautious in assuming that the present form 
of alphabetical writing and printing will survive 
at all. But there are two things which seem 
likely to give it permanence. The first, of 
course, is literature. If we adopt an entirely 
new form of writing and printing for general 
use, we must either set to work to translate all 
our literature into it, thereby probably losing 
some formal beauties which the culture of the 
world will not consent to sacrifice ; or we 
must make up our minds to use (as the 
Japanese do at present) two kinds of writing 
concurrently ; and the difficulty of overcoming 
the vast inertia of the human mind (which 
alone still suffices to exclude from English 
commerce so obviously convenient an innova- 
tion as decimal coinage) will probably negative 
this. This inertia is the second consideration 
likely to give permanence to our present form 
of English alphabetical writing. 

However this may be, the convenience of 

THE ALPHABET, A.D. 2000 43 

direct wireless telephony will certainly, when 
supplemented by records of whatever kind, 
greatly facilitate commerce. The tedious 
process of writing a letter, posting it, and 
awaiting the reply, at present persisted in 
chiefly because it is so necessary to have some 
sort of documentary evidence of what has 
passed, will be largely dispensed with when 
we can secure an automatic record of what 
we say. Nearly everything will be done by 
word of mouth. 

The great inconvenience, apart from the 
absence of record, which attaches to transac- 
tions or negotiations by telephone at the 
present day, is that a telephonic conversation 
is not nearly so satisfactory as a personal 
interview face to face. Gesture, attitude, 
the language of face and eyes, all do so much 
to elucidate communication in the latter way, 
that we lose a oreat deal when we meet an 
associate at the other end of a telephone wire. 
Well, the telephone of the new age will 
remove this drawback, or rather it will be 
supplemented by something which will do so. 
This invention, not at all difficult to imagine, 
I will call provisionally the teleautoscope. It 
will no doubt have some name equally 
barbarous. The teleautoscope can be ex- 
plained in a single sentence. It will be an 
instrument for seeing by electricity. What- 
ever is before the transmitting teleautoscope 


will be visible before the receiving teleauto- 
scope wirelessly en rapport with the former. 
Thus by telephone, by phonograph, and by 
teleautoscope, a wireless conversation will 
combine all the advantages of a personal 
interview and a written correspondence. 

No doubt the post - office system of this 
country, despite occasional lapses, is as nearly 
perfect as any human institution, in the present 
state of society, can be reasonably expected to 
be. But it is equally certain that in so far as 
postal communication is required at all in the 
new age it will have to be vastly improved both 
as to speed and precision, compared with what 
we now, sometimes rather thanklessly, enjoy. 
For instance, that impatient age will certainly 
not tolerate the inconvenience of having to send 
out to post its letters and parcels, or the tardi- 
ness of having these articles sorted and passed 
on for delivery only at intervals of half an hour 
or so. We may take it for granted that every 
well-equipped business office will be in direct 
communication, by means of large-calibred 
pneumatic tubes, with the nearest post-office. 
And however rapidly and however frequently 
the trains or airships of the period may travel, 
the process of making up van loads of mail 
matter for despatch to remote centres, and re- 
distribution there, is far too clumsy for what 
commerce will demand a hundred years 
hence. No doubt the soil of every civilised 


country will be permeated by vast networks of 
pneumatic tubes : and all letters and parcels 
will be thus distributed at a speed hardly 
credible to-day. 

Already every bank of any importance prob- 
ably uses calculating machines. It is not 
likely that the fatiguing and uncertain process 
of having arithmetical calculations of any sort 
performed in the brains of clerks will survive 
the improvements of which these machines are 
capable. Account books, invoices, and all 
similar documents will doubtless be written by 
a convenient and compendious form of com- 
bined calculating machine and typewriter, 
which we may suppose to be called the 
numeroscriptor. It will, of course, be capable 
of writing anywhere — on a book or on a loose 
sheet, on a flat surface or on an irregular one. 
It will make any kind of calculation required. 
Even such operations as the weighing and 
measurement of goods will all be done by 
automatic machinery,' capable of recording 
without any possibility of error the quantity 
and values of goods submitted to its opera- 

Naturally transport will be the subject of 
something like a renascence. So far as inland 

^ There is a contrivance already in existence which not 
only weighs what is placed upon it, but can also be made 
to calculate the value of the goods at any desired rate per 
ounce, pound or hundredweight. 


communication goes, the chief difficulties to be 
overcome already call loudly for amendment. 
We cannot for more than a decade or so make 
do with the present railway tracks, and either 
(as already hinted) by means of some invention 
to enable trains to run one above another, or 
by some entirely new carrying device such as I 
will now try to suggest, the new age will 
certainly supersede or supplement the transport 
of to-day. 

The device most likely to be adopted, in the 
near future at all events, is something in the 
nature of elevated trottoirs roulants for goods. 
If we can conceive all the cities of a country to 
be linked-up by a system of great overways, 
we have at all events a feasible solution of the 
difficulty. There could be a double row of tall, 
massive pillars, between which could run a 
wide track, always in motion at considerable 
speed. It need not be a lightning speed. 
Most of the tardiness of railway transportation 
does not, in this country at all events, arise 
from slowness of trains, but from congestion at 
goods stations, and this in turn is due, partly 
to insufficiency of rolling stock, but much more 
to insufficiency of permanent way. The latter 
evil is very difficult to cope with. But the 
system of moving ways, providing a rolling 
stock equal in length to the line itself, will be 
a great saving. Returning upon itself the 
endless track will continuously transport mer- 


chandise in both directions. Elevators, suitably 
placed, will give access to it wherever needed. 
Probably the motive power will be electrical : 
and we may confidently anticipate entirely 
new sources of electricity. It is obviously 
clumsy to create power in the first instance, 
convert power into electricity (I use popular 
language), and then convert electricity back 
again into power. Much more hopeful than 
any idea of developing that method would be 
the conception of new ways of creating and 
applying motive-power directly. But, almost 
certainly, electricity, obtained in some new way, 
will do the work of the world for many genera- 
tions yet — until, in fact, we devise or discover 
something more convenient. 

It will have been perceived that nearly every 
improvement and innovation above sketched 
out involves, and will be indeed designed to 
effect, great saving of labour. With such 
economies, and an increased population, there 
is evidently going to be a difficulty about 

Moreover, the great facilities enjoyed by 
commerce will tend to make commerce ex- 
tremely powerful. Already great organisers 
of business begin to evade competition by 
combining in vast "trusts," whose tendency is 
to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. 
There is a further cause for the agrofrandise- 
ment of the large trader and manufacturer at 


the expense of the petty retail dealer. More 
and more every year the unprogressive methods 
of small shopkeepers foster the success of 
large multiple retailers. But it is likely that 
retail businesses, whether great or small, will 
ultimately tend to be eliminated. Manu- 
facturers and trust companies will supply the 
public directly. What, then, will be the solu- 
tion of the great social difficulties about to be 
created } 

The answer is, that these difficulties, and 
especially the developments above confidently 
predicted for a future comparatively near, 
are probably transient in their nature. It is 
not yet the time to discuss political questions : 
but the problem here directly raised demands a 
few words of reassurance from the professed 

There can be no doubt of the great social 
and political dangers involved in so enormous 
an aCTCTrandisement of the commercial and 
manufacturing class as we shall most of us live 
to witness. What is called the problem of the 
unemployed grows every year more difficult and 
less obviously hopeful. Moreover, the concen- 
tration of great wealth in a few hands is in itself 
a political danger, even apart from the fact that 
it implies widespread impoverishment. There 
are dangers of corrupt legislation, for instance, 
and other dansfers too. 

But there will be another great force at work 


in which may be foreseen the solution of many 
difficulties beside this. When public education 
becomes rationalised ; when it is employed 
chiefly as a means of character-making ; when 
the universal education of mankind has the 
effect of turning out men and women capable 
of thinking, and not merely of remembering, 
the teeming population of the working class 
will beofin to exercise an intellio^ent influence on 
the legislature — which at present it certainly 
cannot be said to do. And one thing which the 
intelligently-elected Parliaments of the new 
age will assuredly discover is this principle : 
that it is not good for the State that any one 
man, or any one associated body of men, should 
possess an inordinate amount of wealth.' 

Once this principle is discovered and acted 
upon ; once it is illegal for any person or cor- 
poration to be seised of more than a certain 
fixed capital ; the dangers of inconvenient 

^ A practical objection to this principle may be here anti- 
cipated and answered. Politicians may say that for any one 
nation to be the pioneer in the adoption of such a policy 
would have the effect of driving trade and manufactures into 
other countries where the restriction did not exist. But 
there are so many highly necessary reforms open to a similar 
objection that I think there is no doubt that ultimately the 
jurists of all nations will agree upon some arrangement for 
universal legislation, whereby laws not affecting the relations 
of one country with another will be simultaneously enacted 
by a comity of nations. We have already one very imper- 
fect example of such a procedure in the Convention against 
bounty-helped sugar. 


aggrandisement will vanish. Nor is this 
principle in any way unprogressive or injurious 
to the commonwealth. It is, in fact, not even 
injurious to the individuals affected. No 
reasonably-enlightened being can pretend that 
a sensible hardship would be inflicted on 
millionaires by being forbidden to pile Pelion 
upon Ossa in their present insane manner. A 
very rich man, compelled to desist from the 
accumulation of wealth, and consequently driven 
to the task of finding out how to enjoy it intelli- 
gently, would be almost infinitely better off for 
this constraint. The effect of the ordinance 
for the limitation of wealth will be to remove 
all temptation to concentrate manufactures in a 
few hands. It will open the doors shut by 
trust companies on competition. It will 
multiply factories of moderate and convenient 
size : and one other effect of it will be to 
improve many manufacturing processes in 
themselves. There are a great many things 
which can be cheaply turned out in uniform 
batches, every article exactly the counterpart 
of every other, hideous in economical uni- 
formity, because they all emanate from one or 
two great factories, which, if the manufacture 
of them were distributed over a number of small 
factories, would, from this circumstance alone, 
and from the stress of wholesome competition, 
be greatly improved. Probably many industries, 
desirable in themselves, but driven out of 


successful being by our present system of con- 
centrated manufacturing, would revive. Crafts 
of what we call regretfully the good old kinds 
would spring up, rejuvenated : cheap uniformity 
would cease to be the principal ideal of manu- 
facture. The people would be able to afford 
agreeable furniture, utensils, decorations, and 
household goods of all kinds, where they now 
have to put up with horrible but cheap make- 
shifts. For one great advantage of the 
ordinance just predicted must not be lost sight 
of. When you restrain the rich from becoming 
inordinately richer, you concurrently save the 
poor from being made proportionately poorer. 
This ideal, it should be remarked, is in no sense 
socialistic. It is, on the contrary, the natural 
development of individualism. 

Hardly less certain is it that before the 
beginning of the twenty-first century all manu- 
factures and all commerce will be co-operative, 
the workers in every industry being paid, not 
by fixed wages, but by a share in the produce 
of their labour. Instead of the profit of all 
trade and manufacture being secured to the 
managers and owners of lands, machinery, 
transport and other commercial utilities ; while 
labour, the equally necessary and indeed the 
preponderant element of production, is reckoned 
as a mere element of cost, in the form of wages ; 
the profit will be shared all round. The more 
prosperous the enterprise, the more money the 


workers will receive. No man will be able to 
grow rich by sweating his workmen. Neither 
will the present degrading temptation for every 
workman to perform his task as perfunctorily 
and as lazily as he can, so long as he does not 
g"et dismissed from work altoofether, survive 
this reform. On the contrary, it will be directly 
worth every man's while to do his work as well 
as he possibly can. The dignity of labour — a 
phrase now justly mocked — will become an 
elevating and delightful practicality. A great 
many articles of everyday use will be better 
made than it is possible to get them made 
to-day. The spectacle of the producers of 
wealth herding in squalid cabins, clothed in the 
rags of cast-off clothing, eating garbage, en- 
joying nothing but intoxication, will give way 
to a more wholesome and natural state of 
affairs. Nor will the owners of machinery, of 
factories and the like long oppose this de- 
velopment. What are called labour-troubles 
will cease to exist when the interest of employer 
and employed is identical. The problem of the 
unemployed will solve itself. Leisure, and an 
opportunity to employ leisure wisely, will have 
been bestowed upon the poor as well as we 
have seen that it will be bestowed upon the 
rich. A man will have no need to spend 
practically all the unfatigued hours of every day 
at the bench, the loom, or the lathe. He will 
want recreation. While one batch of men is 


seeking this there will be an opportunity for 
other batches to work. And work itself, once 
it is work for an intelligent objective, once it is 
work that there is a comprehensible reason for 
trying to execute as well as it can possibly be 
executed, will lose much of its irksomeness — to 
the vast improvement alike of the product and 
the producer. 



Certain predictions in the foregoing chapter 
will have suggested to all who accept them 
that the cultivation of pleasure must occupy a 
large part of the energy of the new age. 
From the moment when men, sufficiently astute 
and purposeful to accumulate enormous fortunes 
if they were permitted to do so, are required by 
law to desist from useless and injurious money- 
getting, a vast amount of ingenuity will be 
diverted to the development of the useless. 
The skill expended upon money-making — and 
let it be admitted frankly that, however un- 
scrupulous one may be, it is not easy to become 
a millionaire — will be turned to the task, almost 
equally difficult, of spending it satisfactorily. 
We may consider it as practically certain that 
the pleasures of the new age will be largely 
intellectual in their nature. The stupidity of 
merely sensual pleasures will revolt the intelli- 
gence of the future. Athletic sports of some 
kind, facilitated by certain inventions which 
can easily be foreseen, will no doubt be a 



source of much enjoyment, though the grow- 
ing gentleness of mankind will abolish, as 
barbarous, games which take the form of modi- 
fied assault, as football, boxing, wrestling, 
fencing and the like. We shall certainly 
acquire a great distaste for fighting in any 
form when orrowino^ humanitarianism shall have 
put an end to war — a development which may 
confidently be predicted for the present century. 
Similarly — " Am I God, to kill and to make 
alive ? " — we shall cease to take life for our 
amusement ; as, for sentimental and other 
reasons, it has been shown that we shall cease 
to kill for food. 

What then will be our games ? One of the 
most likely instruments of sport will no doubt 
be the small flying-machine. It is not in the 
least probable, so far as can at present be 
foreseen, that purely aerial and self-directed 
vehicles for purposes of travel or transportation 
will be a feature of the new civilisation. The 
dangers and inconvenience of large aerostats 
are less accidents of imperfect invention than 
inherent difficulties of the subject. It is very 
probable that some means of propelling self- 
supported vehicles between guideways may be 
discovered. But, as it is not at all likely that 
any means of suspending the effect of air-resist- 
ance can ever be devised, a flying-machine must 
always be slow and cumbersome. Travel and 
transportation, to be attractive in the new 


age, must be rapid in the extreme. Ships no 
doubt will skim the surface of the sea instead 
of resting upon it. But air-ships are not 
very likely to be anything but a sort of vast 
toy, within, at all events, the next hundred 

But, as a means of amusement, the idea of 
aerial travel has great promise. Small one- 
man flying-machines, or the aerial counterpart 
of tandem bicycles, will no doubt be common 
enough. We shall fly for pleasure ; and just 
as thousands of working: men and women now 
take a Saturday-afternoon spin on a bicycle, so 
they will go for a sky-trip, and visit interesting 
mountain-tops for (non-alcoholic) picnics. The 
bicycle or the motor-cycle will perhaps be the 
point of development. It is quite certain that 
within the next ten or fifteen years some means 
will have been discovered by which we can ride 
on a single wheel. The saving of weight thus 
effected will go a long way towards surmount- 
ing the flight problem. Then, when motor- 
unicycles are presently propelled by force 
transmitted (in the same way as Marconi's 
telegrams) from a fixed power-house, the 
difficulty of flight will be within sight of an easy 
solution. Any competent mechanician of the 
present day could design a flying-machine if 
the mere weight of the motive appliance could 
be overcome. When the motor is fixed on 
terra jirma, and the vehicle only needs to carry 

OUR GAMES IN AD. 2000 57 

a device for utilising the aetheric waves which 


the source of power wirelessly transmits, flight 
will be at least as simple a matter as wireless 
telegraphy is to-day. 

When it is possible to cross the Atlantic in a 
day by means of surface-riding ships, propelled, 
like the flying-machines, by setheric force, the 
field of amusement will be vastly increased, and 
although (as I shall show) it will no longer be 
necessary to travel in order to " see the sights " 
of any part of the world, the pleasure of being 
present at the actual events of life in different 
countries will probably never pall. So long 
as any parts of the world remain comparatively 
unfamiliar, young men and maidens will love 
travel. When it is possible, wrapped in warm 
woollens and provided with portable heating- 
appliances, to pay a short visit to the Arctic 
circle and enjoy the matchless spectacle of the 
Aurora Borealis amid the awe-compelling ob- 
scurities of the Polar night : when, with even 
less inconvenience, we can take a trip to the 
tropics and witness, here the unchangeable 
processes of Nature's luxuriance, there the 
perhaps immutable conservatism of the East, 
the new leisure of the coming time will have 
great stores of recreation for those happy 
enough to live in the dawning twenty-first 

The more distinctively intellectual pleasures 
of the new age will be much subserved by one 


class of invention, of which the rudiments 
already exist. By means of the phonograph 
we are able, not very perfectly, to reproduce as 
often as we desire sounds created in favourable 
circumstances. By various kinds of kineto- 
scope we can reproduce a rudimentary sort of 
picture of an event which has taken place in a 
good light. But when the phonograph has 
been developed, when moving pictures have 
been perfected, what a vast implement of 
amusement may be foreseen ! Each of these 
inventions is comparatively new. If we im- 
agine the discovery of means, developed from 
the phonograph, by which any sounds which 
have once existed in the presence of a record- 
ing machine can be reproduced at will, not in a 
makeshift sort of way, but without any loss of 
timbre and quality, with perfect articulation 
where articulation is necessary, with exactly 
correct time-regulationautomatically determined 
by the first enunciation, and all this cheaply and 
compendiously, what vast resources of cultured 
enjoyment are offered to the lover of music ! 
How many people, denied the pleasure of learn- 
ing to understand good music by the difficulties 
and exertion attendant upon our infrequent 
and expensive concerts, will become true lovers 
and appreciators of it ! For music is only 
to be really enjoyed by the average man 
when it is repeatedly heard, repeatedly 
considered. Certainly the people of the 

THE THEATRE, A.D. 2000 59 

new age will be epicures of the emotions 
which comprehended music is so nobly capable 
of stirring. 

No doubt the new age will have solved, in 
a far more satisfactory way than we have been 
able to solve as yet, the problem of chro- 
matic photography. When colour influences 
photographic plates or some contrivance substi- 
tuted for them, not indirectly by a mechanical 
Sorting-out of tints, but by affecting directly 
the optical properties of the plates or whatever 
may succeed plates, we shall have marvellously 
accurate pictures.' 

Nor is this all. The kinetoscope, as at 
present exhibited under various unpleasing 
names, is imperfect in two ways : first because 
it is powerless to reproduce colour, and secondly 
because it o-ives at best a mere mao^ic-lantern 
picture violently out of focus, and by its pulsa- 
tory motion horribly distressing to the eyes. 
Chromatic photography will overcome the 
former difficulty. When we find out how to 
increase greatly the receptive rapidity of photo- 
graphic emulsion without spoiling what photo- 
graphers call the "grain" of it; or when we 
have improved, as we every year are improving, 

^ Not of course in the artistic sense of the word ; nor is 
the supersession of art by optical process in the least con- 
templated here. The psychological interest of art will have 
appreciators more and more numerous in virtue of the diffu- 
sion of culture confidently anticipated. 


the optical qualities of lenses, we shall be able 
to have our pictures in focus. The distressing 
flicker of moving pictures is an objection purely 
mechanical in its cause. But when, as they 
will be in a few years, all these objections 
except the first have been removed, and even 
when we have colour-photography in a true 
sense of the word, there will still remain one 
field to conquer. We must have, instead of 
moving pictures, something which represents 
all objects as solid. The difference is the 
difference between an ordinary photograph and 
a highly-improved stereoscopic picture magni- 
fied to life-size. When these advantages are 
attained it will be possible to represent, exactly 
as it happened, any event which has been suit- 
ably photographed. 

The utility of this as a means of intelligent 
amusement will be at once perceived. Imagine 
the theatre of the future. Probably it will not 
be beyond the means of the rich, even when 
restrained from over-possession as it is evident 
that they must be, to have theatre-rooms in 
their own houses. But the masses will no 
doubt go to the theatre much as they do now. 
Only instead of seeing a company of actors and 
actresses, more or less mediocre, engaged in 
the degrading task of repeating time after time 
the same words, the same gestures, the same 
actions, they will see the performance of a com- 
plete "star" company, as once enacted at its 


very best, reproduced as often as it may be 
wanted, the perfected kinetoscope exhibiting 
the spectacle of the stage, the talking machine 
and the phonograph (doubtless differentiated) 
rendering perfectly the voices of the actors and 
the music of the orchestra. There will be no 
need for the employment of inferior actors in 
the small parts. As the production of any play 
will only demand that it be worked up to the 
point of perfection and then performed once, 
there will be no difficulty in securing the most 
perfect rendering that it is capable of. The 
actor's art will be immensely elevated, not only 
by his relief from the drudgery of repeated 
performance and by the leisure thus afforded 
him for study and reflection, but also by the 
removal of what is keenly felt by all players of 
sensibility and ambition as one of the greatest 
drawbacks of the stage. We are accustomed 
to the actor's complaint that whereas the author, 
the sculptor, the painter, the composer of music, 
makes for himself a fame imperishable as the 
products of his art, the actor frets his hour and 
disappears from the stage, to be promptly for- 
gotten by an ungrateful public. Well, the 
actor's art, like the art of the executant 
musician, will have the endowment of perma- 
nency. And there will be a magnificent 
opportunity for the actor as artist, in that he 
will be able to compare himself and his fellows 
with the actors who are dead and can act no 


more. It is probably true that Irving is the 
greatest actor since Garrick, but who can prove 
it ? The actor's art is transient to-day : it will 
be permanent, it will be classical, in the next 
century. By this fact not only will the pleasures 
of the theatre be made cheap, convenient and 
varied, but the art of the theatre will be vastly 

Just as the actor will be spared the drudgery 
of mechanical, parrotlike repetition, so the in- 
different maidens of the new age will have 
no need to waste their time in learning to play 
upon musical instruments more or less im- 
perfectly. No doubt some who are not pro- 
fessional musicians will do so for their own 
pleasure. But the professional executant him- 
self will cease, like the actor, to rank as a sort 
of superior harlequin or performing animal, 
exhibiting his powers for the diversion of an 
assembled public. What he has once played 
can, if he choose, be constantly repeated. The 
executant will be paid by a royalty on each 
reproduction, when he is wise. Less prudent 
artists will sell their records for a lump sum, 
just as the unthrifty author sells his copyrights. 
But let it be noted that, on the assumption 
that the reproduction is perfect, the evolution 
above predicted is a highly artistic one. In- 
stead of the executant or singer being judged 
by his performance on an occasion when 
fatigue, illness or unfavourable circumstances 


may militate against his perfect success, when 
the nerve-shattering conditions of the platform 
probably in any case offend his susceptibilities 
and detract from the perfection of his perform- 
ance, he will be able to found his reputation 
upon the very best performance he is capable 
of. He will be able to try and try again in 
the privacy of his study. When he has satisfied 
himself, and then alone, will he publish his 
artistic effort to the world. He can destroy as 
many unsatisfactory records as he pleases, just 
as the sculptor can break up his clay when he 
has not succeeded, just as the painter can paint 
out his picture when it has not pleased him, 
and be judged only by his best. 

It would be ignoring the most obvious char- 
acteristics of mankind to suppose that the 
pleasures of the new age will be limited to a 
mere mechanical development of those which 
we enjoy at present. There can be no doubt 
that new delights will be invented. With a 
general improvement in intelligence and in the 
standard of comfort ; with a moneyed class 
compelled, by the enactments which we have 
imagined, to enjoy a considerable accession of 
leisure ; with conditions which will, as we have 
hoped, reduce materially the necessary hours 
of labour for the worker ; with some of the 
most engrossing amusements of the present 
age abolished for sentimental reasons ; we may 
take it for granted that a great demand for 


new recreations will develop. Some of these 
considerations might easily give us pause. We 
might perhaps fear that vice — either the exten- 
sion of existing vices or (if that indeed be 
possible) the invention of new ones — might be 
a terrifying problem of the next century, if we 
had not foreseen, concurrently with the other 
developments anticipated, a marked moral 
improvement in human nature. There is in 
the calculations of the pessimist and the re- 
actionary no fallacy more mischievous than the 
oft-recited aphorism that human nature is the 
same in all places and at all times. That is 
precisely what human nature is not. Spectacles 
which delio^hted ancient Rome would revolt 
modern civilisation. Spectacles which are still 
keenly enjoyed in Spain would revolt England 
or the United States, and probably awaken the 
activity of the police. Human morality has 
demonstrably advanced in historic time : it has 
very perceptibly advanced, as I showed in an 
earlier chapter,' during the nineteenth century. 
But the improvement in this respect which the 
next hundred years will show must, in all 
human probability, greatly excel that of the 
past time. And thus, though a sane and 
reasonable anticipation will not exclude the 
possibility of regrettable accidents in the future 
moral history of mankind, it will also regard 
them as probably transient. The vices re- 
^ Ante, Chapter I. 


garded as incident to complicated civilisations 
have perhaps been too hastily considered by- 
despairing moralists. Vice is essentially stupid. 
It is only in occasional, in sporadic instances 
that we are presented with the terrible spectacle 
of great intelligences depraved by gross im- 
morality and animalism : and even then, this 
combination is only possible where a high 
degree of culture is in contact with a wide- 
spread unintelligence. Most likely it will be 
found, when the abstract laws of vice come to 
be mapped out with more exactness than, so 
far as I am aware, they have yet been, that 
the degeneracies and immoralities of greatly- 
civilised ages are in reality only the product of 
luxury seated upon degradation. The French 
moralists of the eighteenth century had a 
glimmering of this in their idyllic pictures of 
reformed society, when the old morality of the 
simple life was to return with the abolition of 
oligarchic splendour and popular misery. 

In one direction we may see means by 
which intelligent recreation may be supposed 
capable of vast developments. Already the 
study of the psychical side of man has been the 
means of extraordinary discoveries. Our 
knowledge of hypnotism, suggestion, thought- 
transference and similar psychological wonders, 
obscured though it has unhappily been by 
charlatanism and the importation into the 
subject of irrelevant follies, has great promise 



for the future man, whose psychical faculties 
will unquestionably develop at the expense of 
his animal instincts. It is hardly possible to 
limit our conception of the means by which 
thought will be communicated in the next 
century, but we may see just where the change 
will probably come. A printed essay, such as 
this, is obviously a successive translation of 
thought into words (in the brain), then of the 
words into letters, and then of letters into type, 
which is picked up by the eye, retranslated 
into words by one part of the brain, and finally 
transmuted into thought again in another part. 
If some method can be discovered of abolishing 
one or more of these processes, thought can be 
conveyed from brain to brain at an enormously 
increased pace, and with a delicacy of which we 
have no present conception. This develop- 
ment is not so inconceivable as it at first 
appears. We know as yet almost nothing of 
the processes by which (for instance) vibration, 
accepted by the ear as sound, is, in the brain- 
cells behind the ear, converted into thought. 
Speech and writing are purely conventional 
devices. If, instead of using these conven- 
tions, we can learn to transmit ideas immedi- 
ately from brain to brain, the next step may be 
an extraordinary development of intellectual 
pleasures, in the case of those individuals 
whose tastes are capable of thus being 
ministered to. But to .say this is not to imply 


that the ordinary means of human intercom- 
munication will be dispensed with. For most 
occasions, and for all but the subtlest and most 
refined necessities of thought, no doubt books, 
newspapers and letters will remain a feature 
of everyday life — though of course with such 
modifications as the progress of the century 
will have called forth. The future of the 
newspaper in particular is a subject of such 
great importance that It requires to be dis- 
cussed In detail. 



Suspending, as hardly within the bounds of 
manageable conjecture, any attempt to follow 
up the suggestion with which the previous 
chapter concluded, we can very easily imagine 
the lines on which newspapers such as we know 
are likely to develop mechanically. A number 
of processes already existing in embryo can be 
shown to be capable of very great extension ; 
and several discoveries which an intelligent anti- 
cipation is capable of predicting could, and 
doubtless will, be applied to journalism. 

To foresee the future of the newspaper on 
what may be called the editorial side is a much 
more difficult task, because we have here to 
take into account the influence of the developed 
and rationalised education of the people, which 
is certain to demand very great changes. Daily 
newspapers of the present moment are in a 
more or less transitional state. It can hardly, 
I think, be denied that the papers which enjoy 
the greatest popularity exhibit retrogression in 


NEWSPAPERS, A.D. 2000 69 

many respects when compared with the best 
newspapers of twenty-five years ago. But they 
are much more widely and popularly read. The 
collective influence of their largely-extended 
circulations is no doubt very great, though the 
influence of the newspaper on the individual is 
less, and is attained in a different way. The 
old newspapers aimed, and the survivors of 
their class still aim, at an influence based on 
argument. They used to report events, 
speeches and movements of their age more or 
less colourlessly, and to comment upon these 
things more or less one-sidedly, according to 
their respective political bias. They were pon- 
derous, cultured, dignified, and a trifle dull. 
When an adverse statesman made a speech 
which they did not like, they reported it faith- 
fully, and tore it to pieces in the formidable 
middle pages. The leading article was their 
most important weapon : they sought their 
chief effect by its means. But the day of the 
leading article is nearly ended. The newspaper 
of the early — perhaps the immediate — future 
will almost certainly dispense with leading 
articles altogether, and be much more a news- 
carrier than an educator. It will attack adverse 
opinion by simply not reporting it. 1 1 will some- 
times, no doubt, minimise facts unfavourable to 
its political side by garbling them. But leading 
articles had a useful function not yet men- 
tioned — that of explaining the news-columns. 


Things which the ordinary (but fairly intelli- 
gent) newspaper-reader was likely to have 
forgotten, or to be ignorant of, were (and still 
are, where leading articles worthy of the name 
exist) explained and amplified. In the news- 
paper of the future, little paragraphs having the 
same purpose will no doubt be, as they already 
begin to be, tacked on to the ends of news- 
items : and so far as comment continues to be 
given at all, on such matters as political speeches 
from the enemy, it will be given in this form. 
Speeches from the newspaper's own side will 
not require comment. Newspaper space will 
have too many demands upon it to permit of 
a statesman's arguments being first printed 
semi - verbatim (actual verbatim reporting 
hardly exists even now) and then marshalled 
forth all over again in editorials. Whatever 
attempt is made to influence opinion through 
political reporting will be made by selective 
processes. The arguments of the adversary 
will be simply suppressed. 

Although the old newspaper was really a 
much more intelligent affair than the popular 
dailies of the present decade — and it is chiefly 
of daily papers that I am now speaking — it is 
not very likely that a reversion will take place. 
It is a curious feature of all progress, that how- 
ever much an existing institution may be per- 
ceived to be retrograde in comparison with 
older institutions, reversion hardly ever occurs. 

NEWSPAPERS, AD. 2000 71 

We adapt and modify what we have. We do 
not revive what we have lost. And the re- 
generation of the newspaper will be forced upon 
the newspaper- office by the development of 
public intelligence. Comment will probably 
during the next few decades be eliminated from 
daily journalism altogether, and confined to 
serious weekly publications, somewhat on the 
lines of our monthly reviews, and to other 
publications summarising the latter, like the 
present Review of Reviews, perhaps the most 
useful periodical now being issued, with the 
single exception of The Times. Thus the daily 
newspaper will be entirely a vehicle for the pro- 
pagation of news, correctly so called : and very 
likely it will become almost entirely colourless, 
politically, because a well-informed public will 
resent obvious garbling or clearly unfair selec- 
tion. The newspaper reader will no longer 
(as now) want only to hear what is said on a 
side more or less emotionally and hardly at 
all reflectively embraced. He will want to 
know what is said on all sides, and will make 
up his own mind, instead of swallowing whole 
the printed opinions, real or momentarily as- 
sumed, of other people. Thus, though the 
frantic popular paper of to-day will no doubt 
increase and multiply, and replenish its circula- 
tion books, as long as the present system of 
blind half-education survives, the newspaper 
which satisfies the new age will be a very dif- 


ferent affair. It will no doubt discard many of 
the trivialities now reported as news, when a 
black woman of Timbuctoo could hardly bring 
forth four piccaninnies at a birth without the 
fact getting into the halfpenny London papers ; 
but it will record the really important news 
in ways far more graphic, and with a far 
more complete appeal to the imagination, than 
we have as yet any but the vaguest notion of 

The news considered most important a 
hundred years hence will probably be news 
as to developments of public opinion. It is 
hardly conceivable that exactly the methods of 
Government which exist at present will satisfy 
the developed consciousness of the new time : 
and most likely the methods then adopted for 
the ascertainment of public opinion, and the 
machinery devised for giving it administrative 
effect, will create subject-matter for a type of 
journalism of which the very perceptible 
rudiments, though still nothing but the 
rudiments, already exist. If I am right in 
expecting great results to flow from new ideas 
and practice in our educational system, it is 
certain that the notion of political freedom will 
greatly extend its effect : and the unavoidable 
corollary is that movements of public thought 
will become a matter of the very keenest 
journalistic interest and of the very highest 
journalistic importance. The most probable 
means to be adopted for giving effect, in the 

NEWSPAPEHS, A.D. 2000 73 

middle-distance of the future, to developed 
public feeling must be left for discussion in a 
later chapter : but when we perceive that the 
political duty of executing the will of the 
people must constitute the paramount work of 
the constitution-builder in the latter half of 
the present century, we cannot fail to deduce a 
vast effect on newspapers. 

Broadly speaking, what will occur will be 
the result of clearer thinking. We shall very 
likely amend cur political institutions after the 
characteristic English manner, which is 
perhaps really the safest, though it rather 
suggest the methods of a cobbler who repairs 
a boot by, from time to time, successively replac- 
ing sole, vamp, golosh and upper, until there 
remains a boot which is not a new boot, though 
it contains none of the original boot's material. 
Our constitutionhas been built(to employ abetter 
similitude) by a series of architects who recon- 
struct and repair the old building, with a 
constant adhesion to as much of the old style 
as they can retain, and who will in the end 
present the people with a house entirely re- 
constructed, but bearing marks all over it of 
the original design. We already begin to 
perceive that what is regarded as political 
freedom at the present day has developed from 
the entire tyranny of absolute monarchy, through 
the modified tyranny of limited monarchies, 
still not wholly powerless, to the nearly 


absolute tyranny of parliaments. The last now 
begin to delegate powers to local councils 
having administrative functions, and must pres- 
ently delegate them to local parliaments having 
legislative functions on some *' home- rule-all- 
round " principle, not because decentralisation 
is liked, but because the intolerable incon- 
veniences of centralisation will make decen- 
tralisation inevitable. The more energetic 
propagandists of various systems of con- 
stitutional reform nearly all agree in one 
respect : they all desire to set up some new 
kind of tyranny. Few — except the philo- 
sophical anarchists, who suffer from the oppro- 
brium brought upon the name of anarchists by 
quite a different set of thinkers — perceive that 
to endow with power any sort of machinery 
resting on the shifting will of a majority tends 
very little towards freedom and not at all 
towards stability — the latter even more im- 
portant in some respects than the former. In 
proportion to the development of education 
(in nature even more than in extent), it is 
likely that the present blind faith of the public 
in the ability of the State to do almost any- 
thing, and the still blinder tendency of the 
public to require the State to do all sorts of 
things which could be better accomplished 
otherwise, will diminish, and we shall perceive 
the enormous educational disadvantage of 
allowing the citizen to lean too heavily on the 

NEWSPAPERS. AD. 2000 75 

State. A public properly and sufficiently 
educated will, with enormous difficulty (because 
there is nothing so hard to get rid of as a bad 
habit of dependency), gradually undertake the 
task of doing for itself by free combination 
what at present we try to get done for us by 
governmental machinery. One sees how this 
sort of thing is gradually evolving, in spite of 
the violent efforts of politicians to shove the 
world backwards and keep us walking on 
crutches instead of strengthening us to walk 
alone. Statutes determining the wages of 
labourers and the price of commodities are 
laughed at as examples of mediaeval foolish- 
ness, though (what is exactly the same thing 
in principle) Government still interferes with 
the freights charged by railway companies, 
and indeed is obliged thus to interfere because 
it has already gone out of the right way by the 
powers it has granted to railway companies. 
The new education — the education which 
builds character instead of merely diffusing 
information (generally useless) — will teach us 
the far greater advantages attaching to results 
attained by free combination, and the State will 
be relieved of many functions at present 
regarded as essential to it, and often sought to 
be increased. 

Now the working of free combination for 
the attainment of these results would be 
almost impossible without the constant inter- 


change of views which newspapers subserve, 
and without careful newsgathering as to the 
progress in detail of various schemes and of 
public opinion concerning them. 

To say that this kind of thing will constitute 
the most important class of news is not to 
imply that the public will develop an un- 
intelligent indifference to news of other kind, 
though it is allowable to hope that it will 
develop an intelligent indifference to the 
trivialities at present solemnly chronicled by 
the popular papers. It may be doubted 
whether, even now, the public is quite so 
passionately interested in the minuticB of 
murder trials as editors imagine : but with 
invention steadily moving on, and its con- 
sequences habitually developing in unexpected 
ways, there will be plenty of "news" to 

Of course the one class of news which is 
at once the most expensive and the most help- 
ful to a daily paper — I mean its individual 
" exclusive " war correspondence — will be 
done with by the end of this century. Re- 
membering the rate of progress foreseen in the 
early part of this work ' and the moral nature 
of that progress, we may take it as quite certain 
that war as an institution will be as obsolete as 
gladiators in the year 2000. Even if the in- 
creasing amenity of the human race did not 
' Ante^ Chapter I. 


abolish war, two other things would be certain 
to do so. One is the enormous development, 
already clearly in sight, of the means of de- 
struction : the other the revolt of the peoples 
against the stupendous cost, not merely or 
chiefly in time of war, but also in time of peace, 
of modern armaments. The rising tide of 
educated democracy must inevitably banish 
war. We have lately, in our own South African 
experience, seen how crushingly expensive, 
how intolerably impoverishing, a tiny war can 
be : and all this is a mere trifle compared with 
what it had cost us to be even very ill-prepared 
for even such an insignificant combat. This 
kind of thing cannot go on for very long 
and the peace of Dives ' must soon be 
upon us. 

But even while war still continues to recur 
it is likely that the newspapers will have to 
sacrifice many of the advantages which they 
at present derive from the intense popular 
appetite for the details of organised death. 
The war-correspondent, when he can use the 
telegraph, is a great nuisance to commanders 
in the field, and the increasing difficulties and 
importance of modern combat will have the 
effect, eventually, of causing generals to forbid 
telegraphic communication from the field or its 
neighbourhood altogether, on account of the 
information, useful to an alert enemy, liable to 
* Kipling : The Five Nations. 


find its way through the wires. Consequently ^ 
war correspondence will be all under strict 
censorship, and will take the form chiefly of 
written and photographic descriptions, in a 
documentary form, probably conveyed by the 
organisation controlled by the fighting army 
itself. These may perhaps be telegraphed to 
the newspaper office from some intermediate 
port when the theatre of war is distant — for 
unquestionably we shall, before very long, be 
able to telegraph pictures quite as easily as 
words. And this brings us face to face with 
one of the most interesting and important 
developments to be looked for in the vending 
of news. Beyond doubt, newspaper illustration 
will, in even the near future, be the subject of 
great and, in fact, of revolutionary improve- 
ment. Every daily paper will be copiously 
illustrated, and illustrated in colour. It is easy 
to foresee that before many years we shall be 

^ It can hardly be disputed that the British generals in 
the late war in South Africa would have done well to cut 
the cables altogether, or at all events reserve them 
exclusively for their own use. There is very good evidence 
that, in spite of the interdiction of "coded" messages, 
information passed both ways between the enemy and his 
agents in Europe. The resolute manner in which the 
Japanese kept newspaper correspondents away from the 
scene of action until no action remained for them to 
correspond about, shows conclusively what will become of 
the war-reporter during the few remaining decades which 
separate us from the final disappearance of moribund war 
itself from the planet. 


able to photograph any object or scene in its 
natural colours at one operation. We can 
already do so in three, and by the same 
number of machinings we can reproduce such 
pictures in print, provided we can afford to 
print slowly enough and on a sufficiently smooth 
paper. The process is in its earliest infancy 
as yet. We shall ultimately make it far more 
practicable. But even so, printing presses of 
the present sort are far too slow for newspaper 
use. A hundred years hence magazines and 
weekly periodicals may perhaps still be printed 
on greatly improved presses ; but daily papers 
will be produced by photography alone. 
Already the Rontgen rays will print a dozen 
or more images at a time on superimposed 
sensitive papers. In the next century all that 
will be necessary in order to multiply type- 
matter and illustrations in any number of 
colours will be to place the original on a pile 
of paper and expose it to the rays of some 
source of energy, when the whole matter will 
be impressed upon every sheet, and this not 
by any mere contact of type and process-blocks 
with paper (which involves serious difficulties, 
owing to the interference of the paper-surface 
with the grain of the etched "screen ") but by 
direct action of light, or of some influence 
taking the place of light, so that perfectly clear 
pictures will be produced. And news of all sorts 
will be the subject of this kind of illustration. 


What will happen will in detail be this. 
The teleautoscope ' (the instrument by which 
sight will be wirelessly telegraphed) will ex- 
hibit the actual facts in every newspaper office 
from colour-photographs taken on the spot. 
What it shows will be rephotographed and re- 
produced in colours. 

The amount of verbal description needed 
will thus be much diminished. Where an event 
can be long anticipated — when it is an event 
like the Delhi Durbar or the christening of the 
Czarewitch, for instance — elaborate prepara- 
tions will be made, and very perfect results 
published. And difficulties of merely photo- 
graphic detail, which at present restrict rapid 
photography to events in full sunlight, having 
been overcome, and instantaneous photography 
by artificial light having been made possible, 
such an event as an important theatrical pro- 
duction in London will be pictorially reported 
in the New York and San Francisco papers 
next morning. Where an event is of an unex- 
pected character — such as a great fire, a riot, 
or some sudden cataclysm of Nature — the 
teleautoscope will still be employed with great 
advantage. Take, for instance, the case of 
some large public building or some theatre 
destroyed by fire — though fires will not be so 
frequent in the new age as they are to-day. 
The local newspaper artists will select from 
' Ante., Chapter III. 


their portfolios photographs of the building 
kept on hand for such occasions and get to 
work on them with paint-box and colours, de- 
picting the progress of what they will perhaps 
still cling sufficiently to tradition to call the 
"conflagration"; and they will transmit these 
efforts when it is not possible to transmit 
actual photographs of the event. And of 
course, when all is over, the ruins will be 
photographed in colours from every desirable 
standpoint, and the descriptive photographer 
will, in a great measure, supplant the penny-a- 
liner. Many pieces of news will doubtless be 
photographed from the small one-man air- 
carriages, the employment of which, as a 
means of recreation, we have already for- 

The real " news " of the world will therefore 
be served up with far more vividness than 
even the most feverish present-day journalism 
dreams of, and the newspaper will be far 
more quickly "read," because long descriptive 
articles will have gone out of fashion, and a 
series of pictures, occupying much more space, 
but apprehended by the mind with far greater 
rapidity, will supply their place. Even in 
what remains of the printed word I think that 
great compression is probable. It must be 
remembered that even in the best-educated 
parts of England we are hardly through the 

^ Ante^ Chapter IV. 


first generation which universally knows how 
to read, and already newspaper-English is 
taking on a character of its own, very different 
from the "journalese" of the old-fashioned 
reporters. By degrees a sort of slang, dis- 
tinguished chiefly by brevity and conciseness, 
will evolve itself in the newspapers, especially 
those published in large towns — though indeed 
it is quite evident that in a few years daily 
newspapers will be published nowhere else. 
This terse, quick language will, after a period 
of reprobation, be adopted even by the less 
progressive newspapers, at first shocked to 
tears of indignant printer's ink by the defile- 
ment of the mother tongue, and it will ac- 
celerate vastly the task of "running through 
the paper," a task which must, even in the 
less hurried manners which I foresee for the 
future, be made as speedy as possible by the 
newspaper that would thrive and increase its 
circulation. Thus literature, already restive in 
an uncongenial wedlock, will finally obtain 
divorce from daily journalism. This does not 
mean that literature will perish. On the 
contrary, it will develop. And the periodicals 
other than newspapers will excel our own in 
merit of every sort. They will be permanent, 
dignified and, above all, literary. For with 
the education of the people really carried to 
perfection, and with universal leisure, the result 
of improved social arrangements even more 


than of improved mechanical processes, we 
shall have a demand for a really intelligent 
periodical literature, for really artistic illustra- 
tions, which will make it commercially possible 
to publish matter that only artificial endow- 
ment could support nowadays. 

And shall we be content with it? Certainly 
not ; for the new age will still be an age of 
progress, and the very perfection of the 
periodical Press will be the greatest of all 
stimulants to further effort. 

Although, in some of their characteristics, 
they will be greatly ameliorated, advertise- 
ments may very likely still constitute one 
ground of discontent with the newspaper of 
the future. They sometimes are, in the news- 
paper of to-day, the subject of complaint not 
altogether reasonable, because if there were no 
advertisements there could be no newspapers. 
At all events, without this powerful source of 
revenue our newspapers could be neither so 
cheap nor so liberally conducted as they are ; 
and all the economies of the new age will 
probably be insufficient to enable newspaper 
proprietors to dispense with them. The better 
and the more generously-conducted newspapers 
are, the more money they spend in the careful 
collection, editing, printing and illustrating of 
public information, the more dependent they 
will become on the revenue from advertising, 
which is the sinew of journalism ; and the more 


widely and attentively newspapers are read, 
the greater will be the revenue they are able to 
command from this source. Moreover, they 
would be incomplete without this feature. The 
unreflecting newspaper-reader, who anathe- 
matises his favourite journal because its weight 
and bulk are increased by the presence of 
advertisements which he does not want, seldom 
takes into account the fact that there are plenty 
of his fellow-readers who do want them, or 
some of them, and that he himself is often in 
the same predicament. Thousands of copies 
of newspapers are bought every day in order 
to consult advertisements which they are 
known to contain. A man who purposes to 
take his family to a concert often buys The 
Daily Telegraph because he knows that The 
Daily Telegraph has more concert announce- 
ments in it than any other paper, and that it is 
in fact a practically complete directory to all the 
current musical opportunities of the Metropolis. 
Another man, who wants a secretary, or a 
steward for his estate, probably orders The 
Times because he knows that the best class of 
secretaries and stewards advertise in The 
Times for employment. One hardly goes to 
the theatre or buys a supply of coals without 
looking at the daily paper for information ; 
and assuredly this information is not inserted 
without being paid for ; in other words, it 
forms part of the advertisements. Deprived of 


newspaper advertisements as a way of announc- 
ing its need of clerks, warehousemen, labourers 
and assistants of all kinds, commerce, even if 
it could manage without advertisements of the 
sort more commonly thought of when the 
nuisance of them is being condemned, could 
hardly keep up its organisation at all. Thus, 
so far from this feature of our newspapers 
being a grievance, it is both directly and in- 
directly a boon to all who read them. And 
when we remember in addition that the cost of 
the paper and printing alone in a copy of most 
newspapers exceeds the price at which each 
copy is sold by the proprietor, so that the 
whole cost of newsgathering, the whole cost of 
editing, the fees of contributors and artists, 
and the cost of pictures and engraving, as well 
as the profit which induces persons to embark 
upon an enterprise so troublesome and pre- 
carious as newspaper-publishing, must be ob- 
tained from the cost of advertisements and 
from this alone, we cannot doubt that the 
enormously developed newspaper of a hundred 
years hence will "give us bold advertisement," 
even as now, and that our descendants will 
have the intelligence to be very glad that it 
does so. 

This being unquestionable, we can hardly 
think that we have made a complete forecast of 
the newspaper of the future unless we consider 
what sort of advertisements it will contain, and 


in order to do this we must consider just what 
advertising is Hkely to be needed in the new age. 

As every condition of commerce must 
necessarily be affected by the mechanical and 
economic developments of another century, 
evidently advertising will have to undergo vast 
changes in order to adapt itself to new require- 
ments. Already competition and the urgent 
demand of the public for all possible utilities 
and luxuries to be supplied with the greatest 
economy of money and trouble have produced 
changes in the machinery of supply and de- 
mand which must develop at an increasing 
speed as time goes on. One tendency of these 
things is current talk ; we speak of " eliminating 
the middleman." Well, the middleman will 
certainly be eliminated by the end of the 
century, and one of the forces which will help 
to eliminate him is the very force with which, 
at present, he endeavours, with a high degree 
of transient success, to defend himself — the very 
force we have to discuss here ; advertisement. 

So long as a population is scattered into 
groups in small towns, and hampered by diffi- 
culty and expense in transportation, there is an 
evident advantage in the retail-shop system. 
But we can hardly with convenience remain a 
nation of shopkeepers in the present and future 
state of concentration and with cheapened trans- 
port. It is only necessary to observe the differ- 
ent ways in which we supply ourselves with 


commodities, according to where we live, in order 
to understand the tendencies at work. In a 
village remote from any large town there are 
generally one or two general shops, at which a 
highly miscellaneous collection of merchandise 
is handled. The smaller the village the more 
miscellaneous the stock kept at a single trading 
establishment. In a small town the shops 
differentiate themselves more : but they still 
cross the boundary lines of trade, and one gets 
tobacco at the chemist's and goes to the draper's 
for writing materials and books. When we 
come to towns somewhat larger, trades keep 
more to themselves, and it is often possible to 
find a place where there are no miscellaneous 
shops at all, except those owned by the in- 
dustrial co-operative societies now so common 
and so useful to the thriftier artisans. It is only 
when we enter the largest towns and cities of 
all that we find large shops divided into de- 
partments and again selling almost everything 
under one roof. 

The conditions in these large towns are an 
index to what is likely to occur a hundred 
years hence : because (as has already been 
seen) towns will certainly grow, and the popula- 
tion will become more concentrated, while, even 
where improved facilities for travel enable men 
to live at a great distance from their work, the 
same facilities will enable their wives to do 
their shopping in the centres of commerce. 


Consequently, except for a few highly perish- 
able commodities, such as milk, butter and the 
like, small shopkeepers in residential neigh- 
bourhoods will be driven out of business, as 
they are in fact already being driven out of it in 
the suburbs and dependencies of all large cities. 

It is always possible for a large miscellaneous 
trader to sell at a smaller percentage of profit 
than a trader in a single class of merchandise : 
and by his bulkier purchases the former is also 
able to start with a lower cost price, and thus 
he is in every way better situated to meet the 
demand for cheapness. He can also meet the 
demand for convenience, because when he is 
getting almost the whole trade of a family, even 
at some little distance, he can afford to arrange 
for the transportation of goods in ways con- 
venient to the purchaser. Thus the small 
shopkeeper will lose custom in every way and 
the large shopkeeper will gain custom. But 
there is still a middleman. We have not yet 
begun to see how he is to be eliminated, but 
only how he is to be limited in his numbers 
while being individually pampered with 
increased trade. 

No one who observes the trend of things, 
however, can have failed to note how, from 
both sides, the middleman, qua middleman, is 
liable to be squeezed out. These very large 
retailers tend more and more to become, little 
by little, manufacturers instead of merely agents 


for the manufactures of other people. Very 
often they are actually forced to this by the 
difficulty of obtaining a regular supply of goods 
of satisfactory quality from the existing factories. 
One of the largest companies doing a miscel- 
laneous retailing business has an enormous 
estate in the neiofhbourhood of London covered 
with orchards where fruit is grown for sale and 
for jam-making ; and it has factories of various 
kinds dotted all round the Metropolis, though a 
few years ago it was a simple trading concern 
which manufactured nothing. On the other 
hand, large manufacturers in many trades (of 
which the boot trade is an example which must 
have come under the notice of every reader) 
are tending to open retail shops of their own in 
favourable localities, so as to obtain the 
retailer's commission as well as the manufac- 
turer's profit. Evidently these large manufac- 
facturer-shopkeepers are more likely to be 
extensive advertisers than small one-shop 

Another circumstance which will tend to the 
increase of advertising is already apparent in 
the growing tendency of the public to prefer 
branded or packed commodities before bulk 
goods. Such groceries as tea, oatmeal and the 
like are more and more purchased in packets 
bearing a manufacturer's name or trade-mark, 
instead of being purchased from bulk and 
wrapped up by the grocer. The obvious reason 


is that by this means a housewife can secure a 
greater uniformity of quality. She finds that 
she likes a certain manufacturer's oatmeal 
better than any other, and always buys it ; 
whereas if she bought bulk-oatmeal she would 
have the product now of one mill, now of 
another, and these products would vary. The 
only way in which a manufacturer can call 
attention to his speciality is to advertise it. 
The immediate consequence of this move- 
ment is the degradation of the retailer, who 
ceases to be the custodian (so to speak) of 
his customers' interest and becomes a mere 
hander-out of packed specialities. It is not 
very likely that every manufacturer of such 
specialities will become a retailer with shops 
everywhere ; but it is practically certain that 
trusts will be formed on a sort of co-operative 
principle by combinations of manufacturers, who 
will divide among themselves the expense of 
organisation and obtain the whole profit without 
having to share it with any middleman. And in 
many departments of commerce the elimination 
of the retailer will be secured by the utilisation 
of improved transport, orders being received at 
the works by letter or telephone and executed 
direct from manufacturer to consumer. Such 
business can only be stimulated through adver- 
tisement, and the newspaper of the future con- 
stitutes the most convenient medium for such 


The intrinsic nature of the vastly-extended 
advertising of the new age will be influenced 
by the new growth of public intelligence. Once 
almost wholly, and now to a very great extent, 
addressed to the least intelligent faculties of the 
public — the faculties most liable to be influenced 
by large type and ad captandum phrasing — ad- 
vertising will in the future world become gradu- 
ally more and more intelligent in tone. It will 
seek to influence demand by argument instead 
of clamour, a tendency already more apparent 
every year. Cheap attention-calling tricks 
and clap-trap will be wholly replaced, as they 
are already being greatly replaced, by serious 
exposition; and advertisements, instead of being 
mere repetitions of stale catch-words, will be 
made interesting and informative, so that they 
will be welcomed instead of being shunned; and 
it will be just as suicidal for a manufacturer to 
publish silly or fallacious claims to notoriety as 
for a shopkeeper of the present day to seek 
custom by telling lies to his customers. Skilful 
writers will be employed upon the work, and 
skilful journalists will think it no derogation 
from their dignity to be employed in the writing 
of commercial advertisements. No doubt the 
methods of illustration employed in journalism 
proper will also be pressed into the service of 
the advertiser, and in this, as in other respects, 
our " divine discontent " will still look for im- 
provements, and the newspaper of the future 


will be a vast improvement upon the newspaper 
of to-day. 

Although the distinction between journalism 
and literature is likely to define itself more 
and more sharply — periodicals growing more 
literary, and newspapers less literary — it is 
here convenient to pause for a moment on the 
question of the direction in which literature is 
likely to develop — meaning especially imagin- 
ative literature and poetry. The past of this 
development, widely considered, has been, of 
course, since the close of the eighteenth century, 
from the classical, through the romantic, to the 
realistic school ; and the last has been associated 
with a greatly-increased and minute considera- 
tion of language as an implement of exact and 
elegant expression. Literature has become, 
and will no doubt continue to be, increasingly 
self-conscious. Happy effects are deliberately 
sought for. Felicity of phrase is no longer a 
matter of unconscious, almost accidental, accom- 
plishment ; it is purposefully and deliberately 
obtained. We no longer expect inspiration 
from the Muses, but climb Parnassus with 
arduous consciousness of our meritorious 
pedestrianism. The methodical, scientific 
orderliness of modern thought has, in short, 
invaded even the field of art, and we have 
sometimes an air of trying to make of literature 
an exact process. Perhaps very great literature, 
and certainly, according to all precedent, very 

JOURNALISM, AD. 2000 93 

great poetry, cannot be produced in that way. 
There is something of mystery about them, 
something of the instinctive, of the elemental, 
or, to speak with a more critical exactness, of 
the spiritual. And the development and 
circumstances of very elaborate civilisation do 
not wholly favour the spiritual. But to conclude 
from this that great poetry will never again be 
written would be to overlook one of the dis- 
turbing, the cataclysmal factors of human life. 
This factor is one of the greatest pitfalls of the 
would-be prophet. By examining the past, one 
could predict almost unfailingly the future, if 
there were not always, and in every department 
of life, the strange, incalculable thing which, for 
want of a better name, we call genius, to be 
reckoned with, to be almost alarmed by. We 
may examine, we may reason, we may reckon 
up almost anything ; but athwart all our con- 
jectures, charm we never so wisely, comes 
genius, and revolutionises everything ! It is the 
one thing which no formula can embrace. Not 
in the realms of literature and art alone will it 
break in and stultify our best prevision. In 
every department of life we must tread 
cautiously, aware that no one who would fore- 
cast the future can afford to neglect its disturb- 
ing possibilities. We must prayerfully and 
joyously expect that from time to time genius 
will suddenly arrive and pass across the stage, 
changing everything, bringing to naught our 


cunningest anticipations ; and as it is peculiarly 
the quality of literature to be thus perturbed 
and regenerated, we must not even attempt to 
predict what schools the literature of the future 
will pass through. The only thing we can be 
certain of is that from time to time some epoch- 
making mind will express itself. Acquainted 
with all the devices of the schools it will brush 
them all aside, and half unconsciously, half a- 
dream, as if indeed it were literally "inspired," 
it will establish new standards, engender new 
methods, and endow the time with new delights. 
Criticism will dissect, examine and explain, 
until the creative mind is almost persuaded 
that it has all along understood itself; but the 
one thing by which criticism must ever be 
eluded, the one thing which must ever elude 
prophecy, is genius itself. When all is said 
that man can say, and all is said in vain, the 
best explanation of the unexplainable is perhaps 
the old one, that genius brings in some way a 
message from outside the world. Perhaps, 
since there is always a demand for something 
which man can worship, this inspiration may be 
the subject of the conscious adoration of the 
new age. Perhaps we have here the subject 
of the religion of the future ; for inspiration, as 
we may most conveniently name this mystery, 
has just that character of the unknowable half- 
seized, which is precisely what the soul of man 
is ever yearning for. 



Except for a small tribute in the shape of fish 
food and certain salts the ocean is to-day almost 
a dead loss to the world, and what is worse, 
the greatest of all obstacles to progress. It 
separates us from our kin, wrecks our ships, 
claims a yearly toll of dead, and is barren, 
fruitless, a mere receptacle for garbage. A 
hundred years hence we shall have awakened 
to these facts and found means to make "the 
caverns vast of ocean old " something better 
than a subject for the poet and a resting-place 
for the dead whom it murders. 

Not every dream, however, can be realised — 
not even the engineer's. Some years ago 
certain ardent spirits in France announced that 
the desert of Sahara lay below the level of the 
sea and could be flooded with the Atlantic or 
Mediterranean. The effect of this, it was con- 
sidered, would not merely be to inconvenience 
certain Arabs, but to change entirely the climate 
of the rest of equatorial Africa. Laved by the 
beneficent waves of ocean, lands at present 



uninhabitable would, it was declared, become 
fertile and salubrious. The project was dis- 
missed or shelved as impracticable from 
engineering difficulties. Shall we, a hundred 
years hence, have met these difficulties ? 

Probably not. To work such changes in the 
distribution of land and water will be a thing 
not indeed beyond the power of the next 
century's engineers, but beyond their daring. 
The accomplishment of them might, if at all 
rapid, be attended by frightful disasters, some of 
which can be readily estimated, but of which the 
worst would probably remain unforeseen and 
unimaorined until the irrevocable moment of 
fulfilment. To increase to this extent the area 
of the world's oceans, without increasing (as of 
course we could not increase) their mass, would 
perceptibly lower the level of the sea every- 
where, and in accordance with the well-known 
hydrostatic law things would " right them- 
selves " on a cataclysmal scale. Every narrow 
strait in the world, every oceanic canal would 
become, for the time being, a roaring cataract. 
The Mediterranean would rush tumultuously 
out through the Straits of Gibraltar and the 
Suez Canal, and the overflow would flood the 
adjacent lands. The Straits of Dover would 
roar like Niagara, and all Kent, and the low- 
lying north-east corner of France, would be 
devastated. The isthmus of Panama might at 
the same time be swept away, for the narrow 


banks of the completed Panama Canal would 
certainly give way before the weight of the 
two oceans. All the rivers of the world would 
rush down in spate until they ran nearly dry 
from the increased outfall. The sea would 
recede from all the coasts. Along- with this 
fall in the level of the sea would come tempests 
such as, since the appearance of man on the 
planet, the world has never known. For the 
sea-supported atmosphere would suck into its 
vacuum the whole weight of the over-lying 
air until pressure was equalised. And the 
climate of all the world would be reconstituted 
in new and probably inconvenient ways. 

No. We cannot venture thus to change 
the face of creation. What we can and shall 
do is to make the best of it. In a hundred 
years' time many countries at present un- 
developed will be rich and populous. Canada, 
for one example, has an area greater than that 
of the United States, with a population 
smaller than the population of Greater London. 
And Canada, endowed as it is with almost 
every source of wealth, will before long become 
perhaps the richest country in the world. By 
this time next century it will also be one of 
the most populous. Siberia, again, with many 
fertile and salubrious tracts, will certainly have 
been more intelligently utilised than by making 
a vast prison of it. But when all the regions 
available for human habitation are populated 



and made use of, the centres of civilisation 
will probably lie very much where they lie 
now ; and here the congested populations will 
have found that they can no longer tolerate 
the waste of a neglected ocean. As we push 
outward from the centre of the continents, 
the seaboard will have to be utilised and 
extended. There is nothing to daunt the 
engineers of a hundred years hence in the 
project of erecting on the sea a vast floating 
city, fully as convenient as the present cities of 
terra firma, and, while vastly more healthful, 
quite substantial enough to resist storm and 
every motion of the sea, except the tides on 
which the city will rise and fall — tides which 
will no doubt furnish the motive power of 
many conveniences in ocean cities. 

There are great advantages in a city thus 
founded, as compared with those we at present 
inhabit ; and we certainly shall not be able to 
neglect them. There will be no particular 
reason for economy of space or for insalubrious 
overcrowding (since the sea has no landlord), 
and breadth would make for stability as well 
as for convenience. Urban traffic will employ 
an entirely new light vehicle, the skimmer. 
It has been mentioned as a thing beyond 
doubt that the ships of a hundred years hence 
will no longer float in the sea, but ride on its 
surface, thus evading both the instability and 
the resistance at present so troublesome to 


marine engineers. As soon as the necessity- 
arises for providing street traffic in the ocean 
city — when " the sea is in the broad, the 
narrow streets, ebbing and flowing, and the 
salt weed cHngs to the marble of her palaces " 
— invention will meet the demand, and light 
street waggons and carriages will everywhere 
glide about, performing the daily needs of the 
inhabitants. Something in the nature of break- 
waters will provide against wave-play and 
form an unequalled exterior boulevard ; and 
by means of an invention which will long since 
have been called for by the requirements of 
other localities, the air of dwelling-houses in 
the ocean city will be wholesomely freed from 

For we shall certainly not have failed to 
act upon our knowledge of the fact that 
irregularities in the proportion of atmospheric 
moisture are responsible for the unhealthiness 
of certain areas ; and we shall have learned, 
by means of the anhydrator, to provide any 
place with exactly the degree of damp or dry- 
ness necessary to health. The same apparatus, 
by desiccating the air to the extreme point, 
will keep the houses of an ocean city dry and 
thus do away with an objection which would 
make homes built on the water insufferable 

If we have not wholly reformed throughout 
the world our system of land tenure, the 


conquered ocean will unquestionably relieve 
the tension which is created by it, and perhaps 
a radical change of this character will only 
become possible when the enormous advan- 
tages of it have been practically exemplified. 

But there is another way in which the 
conquest of ocean ought to prove a great 
economic boon to the world. Except in the 
case of a few coal mines, with shafts sunk 
near the sea beach, we have hardly at all 
besfun to investig'ate the contents of the ocean 
floor. There is, so far as I am aware, no 
particular reason to doubt that the constitution 
of the subterranean world is in most respects 
very much the same under the sea as under 
the land. Probably vast riches, as yet un- 
dreamed of, lie below the surface of the ocean 
and beneath its floor. There can be no 
question that the needs of the world will make 
us eager to tap them, as we should already 
have begun to, if any way could be dis- 
covered of overcoming the engineering 
difficulties involved. These difificulties, in the 
present state of our knowledge, may well appal 
the stoutest imagination. The problem pre- 
sented by the immense and paralysing air pres- 
sure in a mine at this great depth would have to 
be overcome. Even in some great terrestrial 
excavations already made the problem occurs : 
and where (as in river tunnels and elsewhere) 
men attempt to work in great air-pressures 


artificially induced, the phenomenon called 
caisson-disease occasions practical difficulty. 
But the mere fact of an achievement being 
almost inconceivable in the light of present 
knowledge and invention must not be allowed 
to put a clog upon a forecast of what next 
century may attain. It is a hypothesis which 
the reader has been invited to accept, not 
merely that discovery and invention will go 
on, but that they will go at a constantly-in- 
creasing pace. We must not, therefore, allow 
what may well seem, at the present day, 
insuperable engineering difficulties to forbid 
the belief that the undiscovered wealth of the 
earth below the sea will be tapped for the 
benefit of the new age. What minerals may 
lie there, a rich heirloom for the coming time, 
we can but roughly imagine. But enterprise 
and the world's necessities will spur us on to 
search them out, until the new people, deriving 
like a fresh Antaeus constant stores of strength 
from Mother Earth, will enter into possessions 
which must vastly relieve their necessities. 
Individual enterprise will solve the problems 
and reap its store of profits. But the ocean is 
no-man's land, and the people— perhaps a 
world-people, for this purpose at least not sub- 
divided into antagonistic communities — will 
beyond doubt take toll, for the relief of general 
taxation, from the earnings of the new 


In other ways, too, the sea itself will be 
made use of. We shall get our salt from it, 
the process of separation being electrolytic. 
Fish will probably be eaten later than any 
other form of animal food. But the chief gift 
of the sea to the life of the future will be the 
two gases of which water is composed — 
oxygen and hydrogen : and the other gas, 
chlorine, which forms half the salt, as well as 
the metal sodium which forms the other half, 
will probably have many new uses found for 
them. Liquefied oxygen will no doubt be our 
sole disinfectant. It will also replace the 
poisonous, noisome and destructive bleaching 
agents used to-day. Hydrogen, the lightest 
of all gases, will be another staple of commerce. 
It will (as we have elsewhere seen) probably 
be the only fuel employed, for its combustion 
furnishes the greatest heat terrestrially known, 
and its flame is smokeless and yields no 
poisonous by-product. Moreover, the evapora- 
tion of liquid hydrogen, by a sort of curious 
revenge, produces the greatest available cold. 
If anything in the nature of balloons should 
survive the century hydrogen will inflate them, 
and both our hydrogen and our oxygen will 
most likely be got by preference from the sea. 
There are many reasons for this preference. 
Probably there will be some advantage in the 
matter of expense, since the salts of ocean 
water would be a by-product of the operation. 


and it is conceivable that a use may be found 
for the rarer among them, which could only 
be obtained in satisfactory quantities by 
reducing to dryness huge amounts of water. 
And potable or spring waters will perhaps be 
too precious a commodity to be consumed 
unnecessarily. Distilled water could no doubt 
be used for drinking purposes, and bacterio- 
logically it is of course unexceptionable ; but 
there are certain objections to it, and though 
these may doubtless be overcome, natural 
waters have a value which cannot be ignored. 

Thus the oceans of the world, as yet mere 
watery deserts, useful to hardly a calculable 
percentage of the people (and then only at 
the expense of the rest) will have become the 
world's inheritance, and its hoarded wealth 
will stave off the time — whose coming we must 
not ignore — when our world-capital begins to 
be exhausted. For that time must come. We 
are living upon the hoards which the womb of 
our mother the earth has borne to our father 
the sun. But our mother is, in respect at all 
events of mineral wealth, past the age of 
conception ; and every century brings us more 
rapidly near to the time when we shall, like 
spendthrifts, have lived out our capital. 
Already the end of coal is in sight. When, 
at the end of a vista however long, we begin 
to be able to foresee the exhaustion of other 
minerals, we shall face a problem appalling in 


its nature. Perhaps before our store of heat 
gives out and reduces earth to the state of 
a dead world Hke the moon, we shall already 
have exhausted our stock. No economies in 
the use of scrap metal and the re-employment 
of the material of machines which have been 
superseded can save us from ultimate metallic 
bankruptcy in a future calculated perhaps in 
thousands (but not many thousands) of years. 
Our only succour seems to lie in a conception 
for which (despite the efforts of some lively 
thinkers who have been obliged to ig^nore 
all but the least important difficulties of the 
subject) we have no material — the conception 
of means by which the cold depths of in- 
terplanetary space may be traversed. Even 
if we allow imagination, untrammelled by the 
most evident necessities of the case, to suggest 
a speed of transport computable only by 
astronomical analotjies, we still lagr behind 
anything which could serve this purpose, 
unless we concurrently believe that human 
life shall, by that time, be lengthened into 
centuries. Otherwise, however recklessly we 
may conceive of speed in interplanetary travel, 
man would almost require to live for many cen- 
turies in order to reach and return from any 
destination which would not inevitably destroy 
him by fire or cold when he arrived at it. 
Most likely man is for ever destined to accept 
the bounds of his own planet, and to be limited 


by its resources. In order that these resources 
may be utilised to the uttermost of his needs, 
the contents of the ocean floor must un- 
doubtedly be laid under contribution, and 
probably we shall not antedate this achieve- 
ment if we consider that it will have been at 
least entered upon a hundred years hence. 



In a forecast like the present it is impossible 
to avoid a certain amount of overlapping in 
different sections of the subject and a certain 
blending of topics in a single chapter. The 
attempt to differentiate consistently between 
the progress of science as science, and the 
concurrent advance of practical invention by 
which scientific discovery is turned to use 
would only involve needless repetition. I 
have already had occasion to suggest elements 
of material progress which presuppose the 
advance in pure science that would make them 
possible. Thus, in endeavouring to suggest 
what the methods of commerce and the con- 
dition of our cities are likely to be in the 
future it was necessary to conceive certain 
advances in our knowledge of what is rather 
clumsily called "wireless" telegraphy, and to 
predict the discovery of new and cheap 
methods of analysing water into its component 
gases as a source of fuel and as means for 
the production of electricity : and in order 



to avoid useless repetition it was found con- 
venient to work out in a rough manner the 
various ways in which the cheap and inex- 
haustible supplies of hydrogen and oxygen 
which I have imagined discovery to have 
placed at the disposal of invention would be 
employed in the arts. Similarly, when we 
interrogate imagination on the subject of 
scientific discovery itself, we shall be forced 
to think chiefly of the practical results likely 
to be achieved by it, and indeed there would 
otherwise be hardly any purpose to serve by 
the effort. * What imports the greatest amount 
of complexity into the subject is the difficulty 
of conceiving the lines upon which science 
is likely to travel, unless we allow ourselves 
to be guided by the practical requirements of 
the future as far as we are able to foresee them. 
Imagination has indeed superabundant room 
in which to run riot when it endeavours to give 
form to the probabilities of scientific discovery; 
and the only danger is that effort may be wasted 
in purely fanciful directions, if it be not pretty 
securely tied down by some such artificial re- 
straint as the convention of keeping more or 
less strictly to the anticipation of discoveries 
likely to have immediate practical application. 

For instance, there is hardly any end to the 
developments we might allow ourselves to 
imagine as arising out of the new theories, 
still in a probationary condition, as to the 


ultimate physical structure of the universe. 
Such conjectures might be followed indefinitely 
in several directions, and the resulting con- 
clusions would be more likely to err by 
timidity than by extravagance : but as there 
is no knowledge at present available which 
could serve as a guide to the probably-right, 
and as a warning against the probably-wrong, 
directions, it would be neither interesting nor 
useful to pursue them. Radium " the revealer," 
as Dr Saleeby has called it in one of those 
brilliant papers which fine imagination and 
delicate fancy have adorned with many another 
noble phrase and memorable image, opens the 
door to a whole world of new possibilities. 
Our whole conception of cosmic processes may 
have to be remodelled, in the light of those 
tiny scintillations which the spinthariscope 
has popularised. Already our notions con- 
cerning the nature of matter have been 
revolutionised. We are told that atoms, re- 
garded hitherto as the ultimate units of matter 
— so small that Lord Kelvin has calculated 
that if a drop of water were magnified to 
the size of the earth the atoms in it would 
be somewhere between the size of small shot 
and the size of cricket balls — are themselves 
made up of a stuff so almost infinitely more 
tenuous, that the particles of it within the 
atom are, relatively to their size, farther apart 
than the planets of the solar system. Nor is 


this all. These particles, commonly called 
electrons, if particles they can still be 
designated at all, were at first said to " carry " 
a charge of electricity. But it now seems 
that they are electricity itself. If this be 
true, we should seem to be on the point 
of bridging the void between what used to 
be called the eternal antithetics — matter and 
force : and whither this will lead us can only 
with the greatest caution be pre-imagined. In 
any case the consequences of this discovery, 
philosophical as well as scientific, are stupefy- 
ing in the possibilities they open up to the 
thinker as well as to the man of practical 
science. At last science begins to join hands 
with philosophy. What will be the philosophy 
of a hundred years hence, imagination pales 
before the effort of attempting to conceive. 

But the workine out of the revelations 
promised by radiology belongs rather to this 
end of the century than to the other. During 
the interval there can be no doubt that 
electricity, already man's chief handmaid, will 
have increased and perhaps completed her 
services to the race. When, as I ventured 
to suggest in a former chapter, inexhaustible 
and cheap " current" is yielded to us by some 
method of utilising the electrical reciprocity 
of the hydrogen and oxygen gases derived 
from water, doubtless all machinery will be 
electrically driven, all transport electrically 


propelled. Perhaps this discovery lies so far 
in the foreground of the future as to be 
irrelevant to any anticipations of the world's 
condition a hundred years hence. The full 
development of electrically-driven machinery 
lies in the middle distance, and the duration 
of the electrical age can hardly be pre- 
calculated with any greater exactness than 
the suggestion that it will probably have 
reached, or at all events approached, its end 
in about a century's time. 

The most important problem connected with 
this subject is to imagine, if we can, how electri- 
cal power will be applied. It is quite evident 
that the device of long conductors, either over- 
head or below ground — the "live wires" of 
alarmed America — is too clumsy and too danger- 
ous to be long tolerated. It is indeed a public 
scandal that cables carrying an electrical charge 
capable of killing or paralysing at a touch should 
be suspended over the heads of the citizens, ex- 
posed to momentary breakage by snowfall, high 
wind, or the inevitable wear which careless 
inspectors may overlook : and the mere fact 
that a horse can occasionally set foot on a 
ground plate and fall dead from the contact 
shows that even the vaunted " conduit system " 
must not be regarded as anything but a strictly- 
temporary device. Some of the dangers of the 
underground electric wires arise out of the use 
of our present illuminating gas, when a pipe 


leaks into a manhole or inspection chamber, 
forming an explosive mixture of gas and air, 
which presently becomes ignited by an electric 
spark and blows up the whole affair. No doubt 
coal gas is within easily measurable distance of 
its end as a convenience of civilisation. But it 
is extremely probable that hydrogen and oxygen 
will be conveyed by mains to houses and public 
buildings during a long time : and it is hardly 
possible to believe that the mains will not some- 
times leak and be capable of letting out mix- 
tures far more dano^erous on ia-nition than the 
mixture of coal gas and air, and still more 
dangerous because neither of the gases, nor the 
mixture of them, has any smell, unless indeed 
we should take the precaution of giving them 
one artificially. Whatever we may do, and we 
shall do much, to minimise the dangers of 
highly-evolved civilisation, accidents will always 
occur, and their violence will probably increase. 
We must pay our toll to the conveniences of 
life, and we shall of course compensate ourselves 
by a lower death-rate from diseases, many of 
which will no doubt in a hundred years' time 
have disappeared from the planet. 

If we need any motive power other than 
electricity, or if we need motive power of some 
other kind to produce electricity, no doubt the 
explosive recombination of oxygen and hydro- 
gen, controlled by devices developed from 
existing gas-engines and petrol-engines, will be 


a starting-point : because coal will, probably 
before the complete exhaustion of the supply 
of it, have been found altogether too dirty and 
unhealthy a thing to use, at all events by way 
of combustion, though rumours are heard from 
time to time of new methods by which the 
stored energy of coal may be utilised directly, 
to the great economy of the material.' In all 
sorts of ways the early years of the century 
will be employing themselves in seeking out 
new sources of man's chief necessity — power : 
and a hundred years hence we shall have 
entered upon the full inheritance of them. 

But the obtaining of power is only one prob- 
lem of the mechanician. Of almost equal, if 
not quite equal, importance is that of applying 
power at the place where it is needed, and the 
careful reader will not have overlooked the fact 
that while we have been discussing the use of 
electricity as a source of power we have already 
been anticipating, and perhaps anticipating a 
good deal. For, when we now speak of 
machinery and locomotive engines being 
"driven" by electricity, we are really only em- 
ploying a sort of convenient periphrasis. All 
our electric machinery, all our electric railways, 
our " tuppeny " tubes and the horrible electric 
trams which make life almost intolerable in 
houses along many of the main roads out of 
London, are really driven by coal-burning steam 
' Antey page 7. 


engines. In a few places (especially in the 
Niagara valley) waterfall power is used. But 
whatever the real source of power, electricity 
is only a means, more or less convenient, of 
transmitting it. Even electric launches, and 
slow-going electric broughams driven by ac- 
cumulators, only represent slightly more subtle 
examples of the electrical transmission of power. 
The ultimate source of power is always either 
a steam-engine or a waterfall. A few lecture- 
table toys and the like are the only existing 
examples of machinery in which the actual 
source of power is electricity. Even here, it 
may be objected, the actual source of power is 
not electricity, but chemical action in the bat- 
tery. But no contrivance of man is an ultimate 
source of power. Even a steam-engine is only 
a device for utilising the stored solar energy of 
coal. Of course man can no more create power 
than he can create matter : the stock of each in 
the universe is a fixed quantity. All that we 
are able to do is to harness to our use a part of 
the cosmic store. When I speak of electricity 
becoming hereafter a ''source" of power, I am 
merely distinguishing between its use as a 
means of transmitting force already perceived 
as force in some other form (as where a dynamo- 
electric machine receives motion from a steam- 
engine or waterfall and turns this motion into 
electricity, which is conveyed by wires or rails 
to an electric dynamic engine that reconverts 


it into motion) and its use as a primary means 
of utilising the cosmic stores of force. 

Before we arrive, therefore, at the point of 
using electricity as a source of power in itself, 
our mechanicians will have plenty to occupy 
them in the task of devising safer and more 
convenient methods of transmitting force, and 
even at the end of the century, supposing the 
use of electricity not to have been entirely 
superseded by the discovery of some entirely 
new force as yet not even conceivable, invention 
will doubtless be still busy with further im- 
provements in the transmission as well as in 
the production of electricity. It has been hinted 
that " wireless " transmission of power will no 
doubt by that time have become practicable, 
and Signor Marconi's achievement of wireless 
telegraphy was mentioned as a proof that such 
transmission is at least imaginable. In Mar- 
coni's invention an enormous electrical impulse 
is launched into the aether, and if the very 
smallest token of it can be " picked up " in any 
way at the receiving station, the wireless tele- 
gram is satisfactorily received. But the im- 
portant fact for our present purpose is that some 
product of the original impulse can be picked 
up : and though the effort of imagination 
required to see in this a starting-point for en- 
tirely new inventions, capable of gathering up 
a practicable modicum of the transmitted power 
in a form capable of being converted into motion, 


is severe, we shall bring but a poor imagina- 
tive equipment to a task so colossal as that of 
guessing what the next century will be capable 
of if we refuse to believe that something in the 
nature of Hertzian waves, or something propa- 
gated as these are propagated, can be used to 
carry impulse to machinery at a distance from 
the source of power. The imaginative faculty 
which boggles at this effort will probably over- 
look the fact that the mere transmission is only 
a part of the difficulty which is pretty sure to 
have been overcome by this time next century. 
It will not be enough to launch waves capable 
of being used where they are intended to be 
used. We must also discover how to launch 
them so that they may be incapable of being 
used anywhere else. I read the other day the 
report of a police-court case in which a man 
was charged with "stealing electricity " (which 
seems a rather doubtful indictment from the 
point of view of the lawyer) by obtaining the 
use of a public telephone station without paying 
the usual fee. The electricians of a hundred 
years hence will certainly have to find out how 
to prevent the purloining of wireless force, and 
perhaps the police will have to devise means 
of detecting this at present somewhat recondite 
crime. This question of wireless transmission 
lies within the province of discovery rather than 
that of invention. Before it can receive actu- 
ality we have to do more than utilise existing 


knowledge : we have to acquire new know- 

In the meantime, portable energy will no 
doubt be achieved in ways other than electrical. 
Some very interesting compressed-air tools are 
already in limited use. Holes are drilled and 
rivets driven by little contrivances which have 
a store of force within themselves furnished 
by compressed air. One of the many uses of 
the cheap oxygen and hydrogen, and doubtless 
of cheaply liquefied gases of high-resisting 
power/ will no doubt be to work various kinds 
of machinery. This use of liquid airs has been 
much derided, and indeed a good deal of non- 
sense has been written as to its possibilities, 
drawing from a recent and accomplished writer 
the remark that " The statements which have 
sometimes appeared in the daily papers, 
announcing impending revolutions in the 
methods of obtaining cheap power by the 
application of liquid air, have originated from 
an imperfect comprehension of the problems 

In present conditions, and so far as we are 
able to see at present, liquefied gases are for a 

^ That is to say, the gases which are most difficult to 
liquefy, and which consequently store up most energy in 
liquefying, viz., hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, as distin- 
guished from ammonia, carbon-dioxide, chlorine, and other 
gases relatively easy to liquefy. 

* The Recent Development of Physical Science. By W. C. 
Whetham, F.R.S., 1904. London: John Murray^ 


long time not likely to serve any greater 
mechanical purpose than that of furnishing a 
highly portable apparatus by which great power 
can be developed for a short time at any 
required place. It is easy to believe that it 
could not be otherwise employed with any 
economy, even when discovery has greatly 
simplified the now difficult process of lique- 
faction. But in regard to this matter, and to 
almost every other mechanical and engineering 
improvement suggested in the present work, it 
is of the first importance to remember that the 
conditions in which the work of the world a 
hundred years hence will be done are certain 
to differ very greatly from anything we know 
to-day ; and that procedures at present not 
merely out of proportion, but in themselves 
actually chimerical, will become perfectly work- 
able in the new circumstances of another 
century. No doubt the problems at present 
involved make many of the developments 
herein suggested almost laughable to those 
who examine the subject without imagination. 
But what could have been thought of a man 
who, when Oersted discovered the influence of 
a battery current on the compass needle, 
suggested that the discovery might, in much 
less than a hundred years, be practically de- 
veloped in such unforeseen ways as to pro- 
duce locomotive machines capable of carrying 
vast weight at a speed of perhaps a hundred 


miles an hour? He would have been told that 
such predictions "could only have originated 
from an imperfect comprehension of the 
problems involved." But we know that they 
would have been perfectly sound, though it 
would have been difficult to withhold assent 
from the derision which instructed hearers 
would have poured upon them. The effect of 
any scientific discovery can only be measured 
when we are in a position to judge of the con- 
ditions in which it may be applied, and the 
further discoveries which may affect it — a con- 
sideration which will help us against the danger 
of undue caution in estimating the possible 
developments of recent discovery when utilised 
in the conditions of the next century and re- 
inforced by inventions and discoveries yet to 

A like caution will, however, teach us to 
restrain our expectations from the new know- 
ledge which radium appears to be gradually 
unfolding, not because there is any doubt that 
radio-activity will ultimately bring priceless 
gifts to civilisation, but because in our present 
ignorance of all but a few facts concerning it 
we can form no possible conjecture as to the 
lines these gifts will follow. Already we seem 
to have seen in some of the radium experi- 
ments one "element" turn into another. If 
this should develop until we acquire the power 
which used to be dreamed of as transmutation, 


the social and economic upheavals which would 
result beg'o'ar imao^ination.' 

The photographic effect of Rontgen rays has 
already^ been the subject of a suggestion, and 
even the facts now remotest from practical use 
in connection with the rays of various sorts so 
much discussed in the scientific newspapers 
will no doubt be utilised in a manner or in 
manners far removed from the limited employ- 
ment in therapeutics already found for them. 

And indeed medicine, not the most progres- 
sive of modern sciences, will no doubt make 
vast strides during the period under discussion. 

It would be altogether fallacious to forecast 
the position and probable achievements of 
medical science in a century's time on the line 
of simple development from the practice of to- 
day. The changes will be revolutionary rather 
than evolutionary. When it is remembered 
that only fifty years ago limbs were hacked 

^ I do not forget that a good deal of what is on record 
as an account of experiments in transmutation is purely 
mystical writing, and that when Paracelsus and some of the 
French alchemists describe what appear to be chemical 
experiments they are in reality referring to something quite 
different. But the learned in these matters tell me that 
one of their chief difficulties arises from the fact that, con- 
temporary with the mystics, there were other investigators 
who, not having the key to the occult significance of the 
masters' writings, really devoted themselves to research, 
some valuable, if accidental, results of which have come 
down to us and are recorded in all text-books of chemistry. 

^ Ante, page 79. 


from the quivering flesh of the sentient patient, 
held down by muscular assistants lest the 
violent struggles of his agony should embarrass 
the surgeon, and that wounds of all sorts 
festered and decayed until a hospital reeked 
with their impurity — in other words, that dis- 
coveries so great as anaesthesia and antisepsis 
are well within living memory — we need not 
hesitate to predict for the present century 
changes in medical and surgical science almost 
inconceivable by the light of our present attain- 
ment. Anaesthetics — of which the local kinds, 
as cocaine and eucaine, are of entirely recent 
use — represent an advance in one direction. 
Antiseptic surgery, which is the prevention 
and correction of blood and wound-poisoning 
by chemical disinfectants, represented an ad- 
vance of a different kind. But antisepsis is 
already on the point of being superseded by 
the far more rational and scientific method of 
asepsis, or the exclusion from open wounds of 
all the germs which can set up inflammation 
and festering. The change is typical. 

The direction in which medicine is chiefly 
working at the present time is that of intro- 
ducing into the body one disease with the 
idea of excludino- other diseases. It is con- 
ceived that cow-pox is antagonistic to small-pox, 
erysipelas possibly to cancer, and so on. All 
the talk in medical circles is of serum and 
attenuated virus. And, apart from animal 


products administered by injection, we cure or 
attempt to cure all diseases by administering 
poisons — animal, vegetable or mineral. Just 
as by antiseptics we poison the germ which 
causes festering and inflammation, so by drugs 
we attempt to poison disease — for all drugs are 
practically poisons. The principle of their 
administration is almost wholly empirical. If 
you ask a doctor why phenacetin reduces fever, 
it is impossible to get beyond a metaphysical 
explanation. He will reply that phenacetin 
reduces fever by lowering the blood pressure, 
or something of that kind. But this merely 
re-states the problem. Why does phenacetin 
lower blood pressure ? We do not know. 
The substitution of asepsis for antisepsis — that 
is, of cleanliness for disinfection — has hardly 
yet been perceived to be in a certain sense the 
greatest advance in therapeutics since Hippo- 
crates. It probably contains the germ of 
future medical treatment. Hereafter we shall 
not try to cast out devils of disease by other 
disease-germs only less devilish. We shall 
learn enough of the causes of disease to stop 
them at their source, and knowledge growing 
from more to more, which has taught us exactly 
how " matter in the wrong place " — of whatever 
sort — is the source of all disease, will also show 
how matter may generally be kept in its right 

Although comparatively little progress has 


been made by the curative use of rays, other 
discoveries, of which we have even now passed 
the brink, will have an enormous effect on 
medicine and surgery. Already certain kinds 
of light cure rodent ulcer, one of the most 
hideous and terrible diseases, not by the im- 
portation of fresh substances into the body 
but by the modification of the tissues them- 
selves. When radiation has been fully studied 
it will almost certainly be found that the sun, 
which is the source of practically all terrestrial 
activity, has been showering upon us, ever since 
the homogeneous vapour which was the birth- 
stuff of the universe aggregated itself into 
worlds and suns and planets, rays which are 
capable of correcting every sort of disease- 
germination and, properly used, of preventing 
it. The absolute deadliness of unmodified 
sunlight to many sorts of disease -germs is 
recognised already. The value of sun-baths 
— the exposure of the whole body, undraped 
or only lightly covered, to the sunlight — is 
already discussed in connection with anaemia, 
chlorosis and the early stages of consumption. 
When we know just where all disease origin- 
ates, and why it develops, it seems likely that 
sunlight and oxygen its child will prevent 
nearly all disease and cure whatever disease 
accidentally arises. In place of temporary 
and dangerous expedients like antiseptics, 
serum and corrective poisons, we shall im- 


port nothing into the human organism, but 
only exclude what ought to be kept out, and 
modify into innocuousness what has found its 
way in. 

A great part of the disease we call consti- 
tutional, as distinguished from infective, arises 
from food, either because the food itself is not 
free from disease, or because, from excess in 
quantity or error in choice, the food we take 
sets up the production of poisons in the course 
of digestion, and by yielding, for instance, 
lactic or uric acid to the blood causes rheumatism 
or gout, or by introducing into the stomach 
matter in a state of incipient decay, favours 
typhoid and other fevers. 

When, for reasons already indicated, animal 
food has been eliminated from the menu one 
great source of disease will have been got rid 

When we completely understand the nature 
of the infective and contagious diseases it seems 
well within the bounds of possibility that the 
systematic destruction of their germs may be 
carried far enough to remove them altocrether 

o o 

from the planet.' We have now, even by the 

^ I might have " boggled " (to use one of Mr Andrew 
Lang's stately colloquialisms) before this suggestion, but 
for a remark by Dr C. W. Saleeby, which may here be 
quoted, to keep me in countenance. "Malaria," he 
writes in Nova Afedica, Nov. 1904, "which causes more 
illness than any other disease, is already obsolescent. 
Tuberculosis, which causes more deaths than any other 


highly imperfect measure of quarantine and a 
period of muzzling (from which, on no evident 
ground except that it would interfere with the 
amusements of the governing class to include 
them, sporting dogs were excluded), apparently- 
banished hydrophobia from Great Britain. If 
it prove to be the case that just as hydrophobia 
cannot arise spontaneously, but requires to be 
"started" by the entry into the blood of an 
animal of an existing infection, other infective 
diseases require pre-existing disease before 
they can arise, we may get rid of them 
altogether. The dream may appear a wild 
one. But it is not wilder than the dreams 
of a thinker who anticipated any one of a 
hundred common facts of to-day must have 
appeared to our great-great-grandfathers. 

It is, of course, not to be supposed that 
disease can altogether be banished from a 
world so highly artificial as that of the next 
century will be. Undoubtedly the growth of 
sanitary science and the knowledge of the 
larger facts of hygiene, which is only now 
beginning to dawn upon us, will have a great 

disease, can be disposed of, apparently, whenever the 
human race, now mightily smitten with internecine strife, 
decides that this campaign against a common foe is worth 
while. It takes some seconds to realise — or begin to realise 
— what the extinction of tuberculosis will signify in private 
and hospital practice. Yet the extermination of the last 
tubercle bacillus is an event quite certainly hidden in the 
womb of time — time pregnant by science." 


influence in correcting some of the evils which 
over-civilisation at present entails. But the 
very progress of the art of healing will no doubt 
have the effect of perpetuating in a manner 
the existence of illness. Every forward step 
in medicine serves to save alive some weakling 
that in a less advanced civilisation would die ; 
and these survivors, possibly propagating their 
species, will have weak descendants, on whom 
whatever possibility of disease continues to 
exist will certainly fasten. The discovery of 
means by which we can make a weak " consti- 
tution " into a strong one is perhaps the least 
likely of medical innovations. It would be 
altogether contrary to the general spirit of the 
times anticipated to expect that we shall have 
steeled our hearts to the destruction of feeble 
lives as dangerous to the race. We are much 
more likely to go on finding better means to 
perpetuate them : and this means that there 
will always be work for the doctor, though the 
infective fevers will have been banished from 
the earth. Medicine, therefore, will still aspire. 
But apart from what are called occupation- 
diseases, caused by certain manufacturing pro- 
cesses (of which the more deadly, as phosphorus 
match-making, lead-glazing of earthenware 
and the manufacture of enamelled iron will 
before long certainly be abolished), the elabor- 
ate machinery and rapid travel of the new age 
must needs exact a certain toll of death and 


mutilation. The surgeon will have more to 
do than the physician. Frightful accidents 
will occur from time to time. The maim, the 
halt and the blind must pay the price of pro- 
gress. And it is hardly possible that nervous 
diseases and insanity, incident to the pressure of 
civilisation, can be eliminated. But certainly 
the alleviations of all but the last, and even of 
that except in its extreme expression as total 
dementia, will have advanced to a high standard. 
We shall no doubt, for instance, have discovered 
means of so acting on the sensory system that 
we shall be able innocuously and temporarily 
to paralyse at any desired spot the nerves which 
transmit pain. Thus, during convalescence, 
the injured will suffer no discomfort except 
that of confinement, and our means of amusing 
the patient by talking machines that will read 
and sing to him, and the theatroscopes that 
will project before him moving and coloured 
pictures of life or the play, will make the sick 
bed almost a paradise. 

As we have seen that, apart from the 
sentimental reasons which have been sug- 
gested,' animal and flesh foods must, for 
economical reasons, have been abandoned long 
before the end of the century, the grazing of 
cattle being far too expensive a method of 
utilising the soil, we may be quite sure that 
the sciences connected with agriculture will 
^ Ante, page 34. 


receive far greater attention than they now 
enjoy. It will grow more important with every 
decade to obtain the greatest possible tribute 
from the portions of land, steadily decreasing 
in area, which can be spared from the growing 
needs of the builder. Every discovery of the 
chemist which can be laid under contribution 
by the agriculturist will eagerly be seized upon. 
Every means which can be devised for replac- 
ing what we take from the soil will be utilised 
to the full : and of course the inevitable dis- 
appearance of the horse as a means of traction, 
and of the flocks and herds which now yield 
manure, and perhaps the gradual exhaustion 
of the minerals (as rock phosphates) from 
which artificial soil enrichers are prepared, will 
make it necessary to rearrange, on safe, 
economical and convenient lines, our present 
plans of sanitation. The insane wastefulness 
of draining into the sea cannot long be 
tolerated. Every conceivable means of con- 
serving our mundane capital will have to be 
made use of. In other ways science will come 
to the rescue. The farmer's sufferings from 
the depredations of vermin of various kinds 
will perhaps never be much affected by inven- 
tion, because all nature is so curiously inter- 
dependent that the eradication of one pest has 
an awkward way of intensifying some greater 
evil : we destroy birds and are punished by a 
plague of caterpillars. The accidents of 


climate, too, can perhaps only be obviated in a 
very small measure, though the science of 
meteorology, constantly being helped by 
facilities for better observation-reporting, will 
unquestionably help the agriculturist by giv- 
ing him timely warnings. It seems hardly 
possible to doubt that the eccentricities of 
climate and the unexpected shifting of the 
rainy season in Manchuria during the Russo- 
Japanese war must have been caused by the 
vast atmospheric disturbances created by days 
and weeks of cannonading : and of course it is 
an old theory that heavy gun-fire "brings 
down the rain." Military historians say that 
the number of wet-day battles altogether 
exceeds any expectation which could have 
been formed without allowing for effects of 
this sort. When science has pondered upon 
the subject, and instituted in an ordered 
manner experiments of a kind hitherto never 
taken very seriously, it may very well be that 
some means less violent than the detonation of 
explosives may be discovered by the practical 
meteorologist for creating disturbances in the 
atmosphere ; and while it may not be possible 
to prevent excessive rainfall at inconvenient 
times, it seems easy to conceive that when 
there is moisture in the atmosphere we may be 
able to bring it down as rain. Of course this 
is a very different thing from breaking up 
droughts : and artificial rain-making cannot in 


itself be anything but a momentary expedient. 
The effects of deforestation have for some 
time been observed and the plan of improving 
waterless areas by the contrary process is 
already discussed. While it seems rather a 
*' large order " to undertake to meddle with the 
balance of atmospheric composition on a large 
scale, especially as we know so little of the 
conditions that even success might very 
possibly be attended by unforeseen and 
perhaps calamitous results, there is nothing 
intrinsically absurd in the notion that we 
might adopt means on a vast scale for increas- 
ing oceanic evaporation and, utilising the exact 
foreknowledge of winds and air currents which 
we shall certainly have achieved, bring moisture 
and rain to arid tracts or countries suffering 
from drought. The operation would no doubt 
require to be stupendous, but the next century 
is not going to be afraid of stupendous opera- 
tions ; and anticipating vast and unforeseen 
progress in meteorology, it would be hazardous 
to believe that no practical use will be made of 
such progress. 

While our knowledge and mastery of the 
planet we possess, and of its forces, are being 
steadily advanced by scientific discovery, and 
the researches of the pure scientist are con- 
stantly yielding practical results at first un- 
dreamed of, it is impossible to doubt that 
man's knowledge of himself will make equal 


progress. And it is not alone the physical 
constitution of man that will be interrogated. 
Everything assists the belief that this century 
will be among other things the century of 
psychical advance. We appear to be on the 
verge of great discoveries concerning the 
human mind, and especially concerning the 
relation of body to consciousness. Hypnotism 
has only during a comparatively short time 
been the subject of systematic observation, 
even in France ; but at any time during the 
last ten years results have been achieved 
which, if foreseen a century ago, would 
certainly have produced a widespread recru- 
descence of belief in witchcraft. What the 
developed science of a hundred years hence 
will be capable of would certainly be a great 
deal more surprising if we could foresee it to- 
day. It is reported from the Salpetriere 
Hospital that a woman, under hypnosis, has 
had the existence of a picture on a blank sheet 
of paper suggested to her with such vividness 
that, on the suo-orestion beingr revived at a 
subsequent period, even after a considerable 
interval, she was able to detect that the 
"picture" was upside down, the blank paper 
having been actually reversed. This phe- 
nomenon is attributed to a great accentuation 
of the sense of vision produced by hypnotism, 
it being supposed that the paper, perfectly 
blank on ordinary observation, had really some 

PSYCHOLOGY, A.D. 2000 131 

local irregularity of colour or surface which 
the sharpened vision of the subject was able, 
unconsciously, to utilise. What secrets in the 
mechanism of the senses may not this fore- 
shadow ? Without any recourse to hypnotism, 
as we at present understand hypnotism, im- 
pressions have, in a number of instances suffi- 
cient to exclude all possibility of collusion or 
error, been conveyed from one mind to another 
without the use of any of the ordinary means 
of communication : and it is shown in experi- 
ments seriously conducted by trained observers 
that the faculties of thus communicating and 
receiving impressions can be steadily culti- 
vated. In other words, it would appear that 
human consciousness possesses some sort of 
emanation, and although certain " ray " experi- 
ments possibly connected with the subject have 
not received universal acceptance, it is evident 
that the future is going to enlarge considerably 
our knowledge of the nature of mental process. 
At present we know nothing — and it has been 
said with some rashness that we must always 
remain in a like ignorance — of the interval 
between sense and consciousness. We know 
how the ear receives air-vibrations, how it 
collects and conducts them to the auditory 
nerves, carefully protecting itself, by the action 
of beautifully ordered springs and cushions, 
from the effects of vibrations violent enough to 
be dangerous to its own integrity. But even 


when we have followed vibrations as far as the 
nerve, and recognised the subtle variation of 
its own substance by which the nerve conducts 
the impression of them to the brain, we have 
no inkling of the means by which the 
phenomenon of consciousness which we call 
" mind " is produced. Well, now that by 
suggestion alone we can with perfect precision, 
and without the use of any air vibration what- 
ever, cause a hypnotised person (or even a 
person who has at some earlier period been, 
hypnotised but has recovered his normal state) 
to hear — in his mind alone — sounds which 
have no objective existence, just as vividly and 
clearly as any sounds we can physically 
produce, does it seem extravagant to believe 
that the whole mechanism of sense, nay, the 
dark mind-gulf beyond mechanism too, will 
receive full illumination from the science of the 
coming time? Such a discovery would, of 
course, throw utterly into shadow anything we 
have yet learned of the nature of man. It 
would bring us a step nearer to the knowledge 
of the unknown soul of him. What secrets 
might it not carry with it of those mysterious 
co-partners, mind and body, thought and brain ? 
With this, the noblest subject that can be 
proposed to the intellect of man, the science of 
a hundred years hence will assuredly be busy, 
and imagination pales before the contemplation 
of a notion so vast. Limited as we are by the 

PSYCHOLOGY, A.D. 2000 133 

knowledge of our own time, we cannot even 
conjecture whither such discoveries might lead 
us. All we can affirm is that the whole outlook 
of man, nay, the nature of man himself, might 
very conceivably be changed by them, and the 
greatest problems of the thinker may be 
resolved when we eat of the fruit tendered us 
by this tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 
Perhaps the soul of man may quail before the 
revelations in store, fearing that in the day we 
eat thereof we shall surely die. 



Allowing, as every competent thinker must 
allow, a full measure of validity to the con- 
tention that social developments are matters 
of slow ofrowth and g-radual attainment rather 
than of sudden and catastrophic change ; ad- 
mitting that even in the sphere of scientific 
discovery and mechanical invention changes 
occur much more gradually than a cursory 
glance at individual achievements would 
suggest ; recognising that many of the most 
remarkable changes whose arrival in the past 
is the only possible valid guide to anticipation 
of similar or kindred changes in the future ; it 
is still a condition of such anticipation that we 
should take account of causes like^ to be 
operative in altering the rate at -./hich the 
world will move. To allow that social im- 
provements generally have the air of occurring 
almost automatically is not to conceive that 
they are without cause. Neither can it be 
believed by anyone who has studied the 
history of such movements in the past, or 


EDUCATION, A.D. 2000 135 

watched them in current progress, that the 
rate of development is everywhere and at all 
periods the same. There have been eras of 
almost complete moral, and even of almost 
complete mechanical, stagnation in the history 
of the world. There have been other eras of 
almost violent reformation and reconstruction. 
To reason as if these characteristics were 
arbitrarily or miraculously imposed upon the 
physiognomy of society, to be content with 
laboriously unintelligent estimation of the facts 
without attempting to learn anything from 
them of their causes, is to neglect the only 
important lesson which either history or 
observation is capable of teaching. When, 
therefore, an enormous acceleration in a 
rate of progress already unprecedented in the 
records of society has been predicted for the 
next hundred years of human history, it is 
evident that this anticipation must have 
been based upon some estimate of forces 
calculated to be operative in producing ac- 

So far as scientific or material progress is 
concerned, it is obvious enough that we shall 
move forward with increasing momentum, 
because every discovery and every invention 
tends automatically to facilitate fresh attain- 
ment, and the very growth of population must 
act in the same way, as must also the struggle 
for existence. As there are every year more 


men and women working on scientific research 
and on mechanical invention, the results must 
be progressively greater every year ; and as 
the rewards of success are increased by the 
growing demand resulting from a growing 
population, it is evident that the incentives to 
industry in this respect are proportionately 
liable to increase. But the ethical progress 
of the world is actuated by forces entirely 
different, and what makes for mechanical im- 
provement may very easily be conceived — in 
fact has actually been conceived by one rather 
conspicuous prophet — to operate adversely 
upon the moral future of the race. 

No secret, however, has been made of the 
present writer's belief that our descendants a 
hundred years hence will have made moral 
progress quite as remarkable as the mechanical 
progress of which the anticipation is likely to 
be contested by no reasonably imaginative 
observer. This ethical improvement, gradual, 
and momentarily imperceptible as it may be, 
necessarily has causes which must now, how- 
ever tentatively and however cursorily, be 

That these causes will be powerful, con- 
tinuous in action and based upon the funda- 
mentals of human character, is evident. That 
in their operation they will be opposed by 
other influences not less easy to foresee is 
equally manifest. What we have to precog- 


nise are the net results likely to be achieved 
by the interaction of opposing forces, of which 
those tending to improvement are confidently 
believed the stronger. 

The most powerful of all moral influences 
in the future will undoubtedly be the reform of 
education, not merely by the improvement of 
its methods in various departments, but also, 
and with much more importance, in the general 
spirit with which its objects will be conceived. 
But in order to affirm that this reform will 
occur, we must first demonstrate that the 
grounds upon which it is anticipated are 
adequate. We must, in the terms of the 
formula above proposed, be satisfied that they 
are in harmony with the fundamentals of 
human character. 

If there be any human motive of which 
something approaching universality can be 
predicted — quod semper^ quod ubique, quod ab 
omnibus — it is that of parental solicitude. No 
progenitor of children, however little amenable 
to high aspirations, is wholly free from the 
wish that his offspring shall grow up to be 
wiser, stronger, better, more prosperous than 
himself. The innate hopefulness of the race 
expressed in the arid comment that, in his 
own estimation, "man never is, but always to 
be blest," is often discouraged by the time a 
man's children are beginning to grow up, 
especially in these days of late marriage and 


deferred parenthood. Realising, as most of 
us have reaUsed only too acutely by the time 
we are forty, that we have more or less failed 
in the ambitions which seemed so easy of 
future attainment when we were twenty-five, 
aspiration begins to cast a golden light upon 
the career of our children, and it is to the 
successes and the fame of our first-born that 
we look for consolation in the failure which, 
for ourselves, we no longer hope to evade. 
Romance, celebrity, even perhaps worldly 
reward, we can no longer expect for ourselves ; 
but these dear hands that a little time ago we 
held while the first tottering steps of babyhood 
were being tried, shall return to us hereafter 
with the laurel in them that we have never 
plucked. Perhaps we shall not live to see it 
on our child's brow, but what of that? Our 
confident prevision of this glory is what we 
console ourselves withal : this, though we 
hardly know it, is our True Romance : — 

" The comfortress of unsuccess, 
To bid the dead good-night." 

Neither in the material and the intellectual 
spheres alone do we aspire more-nobly for our 
children than for ourselves. Not success and 
not fame limit our demand of Fate, that she 
repair in our children the injustice of which we 
ourselves cease to complain. We want them 
to be better men and women than we have 


been. To put the thing on its lowest ground 
(and nothing but the lowest motives ever 
seem to be accorded the smallest validity by 
the more conspicuous among recent vaticinators 
of human action) it behoves us to make the 
best we can of our children's morals, if we are 
presently in old age likely to be dependant 
upon them. But for those who, like Malvolio, 
"think nobly of the soul," it is sufficient to 
rely upon the manifested predilection of every 
parent in order to be convinced that the 
education of the future will be moralised as 
well as rationalised through the natural 
emotions of man. Only the dullest and most 
turgid imagination will consent to believe that 
the horrible conditions of competitive struggle 
will be permitted to foster only the lower 
faculties, as greed, selfishness, unscrupulous 
cunning and subtle evasiveness, at the expense 
of all the finer characteristics of man. There 
is no cynic so base as would deliberately seek 
the fortune of his sons in the inculcation of 
chicane. Struggle must sharpen all our intel- 
lects as life grows yearly more difficult, but one 
by-product of this attrition will be the increased 
morality with which the education of each gen- 
eration successively arising will be conceived. 

Pausing for a moment to remark, in regard 
to the methods in detail by which the improve- 
ment of education will most likely be sought, 
that to foresee what is probable is not neces- 


sarily to endorse it as ideal, and that the object 
of this book is not to formulate Utopia, but to 
predict the consequences implied by existing 
forces after the latter have been during a stated 
time in operation ; and admitting that no reform 
ever practised within the recorded history of 
man has been without drawbacks inherent in 
its own constitution, it may be said at once 
that the work of instruction is capable of 
mechanical and instrumental improvement not 
less considerable than any other labour to be 
undertaken by ourselves and our successors. 
Even within a lifetime's limits all sorts of appli- 
ances for assisting the mind of the learner to 
apprehend the facts sought to be learnt have 
been invented, and our children, as we all know, 
are much more easily taught than we were our- 
selves. The laudator temporis acti is always 
pretty ready to depreciate the value of these 
improvements, and perhaps it is natural enough 
in most of us to find it difficult to believe that 
any plan of teaching can be better for our 
children than the one which produced results 
so pleasingly exemplified by ourselves. But 
at all events, it will be generally, if a little 
grudgingly, admitted that any form of apparatus 
capable of saving time and trouble in teaching 
is capable of being ranked as an improvement. 
Unquestionably appliances having this object 
will be constantly invented and used during the 
present century. For instance, it is hardly 


conceivable that something less than perfection 
in the teaching of a foreign pronunciation by 
the mouth of the best teacher who can be hired 
for the work will content us, when perfected 
talking-machines presently enable us to give 
examples of the still better speech. Evidently 
a boy would learn to speak French with a 
purer accent by listening to a phonograph 
which, freed of the present tin-trumpet timbre 
and whirring, repeated the speech of the ComMie 
Frangaise^ than by hearing an ordinary master 
read aloud. To say this is not to suggest that 
professors of languages will be dispensed with ; 
but their teaching can be thus supplemented. 
Similarly the use of magic-lanterns and kineto- 
scopic pictures is capable of improving greatly 
upon the blackboard and chalk still used. But 
the plan of education in itself is so greatly more 
important to be foreseen than the mechanism 
by which the details can be worked out, and the 
latter can with so very little difficulty be 
imagined by anyone interested in them, that the 
reader shall not be troubled with any discussion 
of this branch of the subject, but will rather be 
asked to concentrate his attention upon the 
moral and intellectual aspects of it. 

Conceiving, what I have all along en- 
deavoured to show is reasonable to conceive, 
that all social institutions will be governed with 
ever-increasing intelligence and rationality as 
time goes on, and that they could not possibly 


be tolerated otherwise, it is easy to see that 
education as hitherto and at present practised 
would never do for our grandchildren, let alone 
for our more advanced descendants a hundred 
years hence. To begin with, parents in that 
era would certainly consider it hopelessly and 
criminally unethical, if not actively immoral. 
Projects of reform, especially in morals, are 
often dismissed as visionary, because it is 
pointed out that no changes can take place in 
the social order which do not appeal directly to 
the self-interest of the individual. In other 
words, there is no mainspring of social action 
except aggregated selfishness. Without delay- 
ing to examine the validity of the belief, it may be 
said at once that its full acceptance is no obstacle 
to the admission of the whole case on which is 
founded the belief that education will be con- 
ducted chiefly with a view to its moral effect at 
the period I am attempting to describe. The 
very circumstances on which writers rely, who 
predict the ethical deterioration of man, are those 
which make the ethical reform of education in- 
evitable. Precisely in proportion as competition 
tends to harden and debase, there will arise the 
unavoidable necessity for deliberate counter- 
action of this tendency, resulting, as the effect of 
the measures necessitated becomes felt, in the 
changes of commercial and political conditions 
already ' predicted. If we consider at all 
' Ante, Chapter III. 


thoughtfully the necessities of a hundred years 
hence, it is not difficult to foresee the general 
lines upon which they are likely to be met — 
lines not necessary to be accepted as represent- 
ing a perfect or ideal state, but broadly indicat- 
ing the methods which the effect of visible 
tendencies will by that time demand of a 
practical people. 

Here, as everywhere else, the only safe 
guidance as to the practice of the future must 
be sought in the tendencies of the present. 
The tendency most forcibly in evidence during 
recent times is that in favour of softening the 
former acerbities of education. Whereas the 
schoolhouse of half a century ago was something 
like a penitentiary in the way it was conducted, 
the schoolhouse of to-day is managed as much 
like a place of recreation as it possibly can be. 
At all events, recreation is at least as assiduously 
cultivated as study, and the candidate for an 
under-mastership who has a good cricket record 
will find employment a good deal more easily 
than one with a double-first. If there be any 
complaint of public and other upper-class 
schools at the present time — and there is room 
for plenty of complaint — it is more often that 
games are too much insisted upon than that 
brains are overtaxed. There is a visible re- 
action in regard to this ; but it is not to be 
regarded as a reaction in favour of the old 
draconic methods. On the contrary, " the grow- 


ing sentimentality of the age " steadily de- 
mands amenity of treatment for the fortunate 
offspring of the twentieth century. The late 
James Payn, sanest and kindliest of men, was 
never tired of denouncino- what he called the 
barbarous and indecent corporal punishments 
of Eton. He used to say that if a picture of 
an Eton boy being birched were published in 
the Illustrated London News no boy would ever 
be birched again, and I believe that he tried to 
get either Mr Latey or Mr Shorter to insert 
such a picture. Be this as it may, what he said 
was perfectly true. I shall have something to 
say presently on this same question of school 
discipline : meantime it may with perfect safety 
be predicted of the master's cane a hundred 
years hence that it will be found only in 
museums, and (whether rightly or wrongly) be 
regarded as a relic of degrading barbarism. 
One reason why corporal punishment will have 
to be abolished is that boys and girls will cer- 
tainly be educated together instead of apart. 
As we could hardly cane girls (and it would be 
of very little use if we could) we shall assuredly 
have to get on without caning their masculine 

I suppose that few will contest the statement 
that the religious teaching practised in schools 
at the present time not only has very little to 
do with the question of morality but tends 
distinctly, except in Roman Catholic seminaries 


and some few non-conforming colleges where a 
special kind of education is given, to have less 
and less connection therewith. Whatever 
moral effect "schooling" has upon the 
adolescent is recognisably and recognisedly due 
to the " tone " of the school itself, that is, to 
public opinion among the taught, and only in- 
directly to anything which emanates from the 
teachers. Assuredly a proficient knowledge of 
Biblical history has no ethical effect greater 
than a proficient knowledge of Greek mythology 
(at least of so much of it as is properly selected 
for school use), and we have it on the authority 
of Mr E. H. Cooper, a very entertaining if not 
particularly sound writer on children, that even 
"Confirmation" classes are by no means uni- 
form in promoting a religious sentiment in 

The moral advantages of education, there- 
fore, tend to be found in the effect of public 
opinion and the general "tone" of a school. 
It is discovered in practice that direct moral 
inculcation is not very successful. It is to be 
assumed that the ingenuity of future pseda- 
gogues will be devoted to the discovery of the 
best ways in which indirect moral influence can 
be cultivated. In view of the high importance 
which will evidently be attached to such in- 
fluence, we may take it for granted that it is 
not in connection with any single branch of 

'^ The Twentieth Century Child. Chapter III. 



tuition that it will be sought for, but that it will 
be root and branch of the whole scheme of 
educational work. One very powerful assist- 
ance will be rendered to this by the system of 

It is quite certain that boys and girls will 
always be educated together a hundred years 
hence. The tendency of the sexes to become 
less different intellectually is a known fact of 
sociology.' It carries with it an inevitable 
tendency to dispense with the separation of the 
sexes in education. Wherever co-education 
has been tried its effects have been excellent. 
The presence of female students in medical 
colleges has had a markedly reformative in- 
fluence on the manners and moral tone of 
medical student life, not long ago the opprobrium 
of civilisation. The advantages to a parent of 
being able to send his sons and his daughters 
to one place of instruction, and to the children 
themselves of the companionship and mainten- 
ance of family relations thus afforded, are 
equally obvious. In one other respect, which 
can only be touched upon lightly here, the 
system of joint education must be enormously 
beneficial, at all events to boys, and greatly 
beneficial to their sisters. Every competent 
schoolmaster is acquainted with special 
difficulties liable to arise about the age of 
puberty. The monastic seclusion of the school- 
^ Spencer : Study of Sociology. Chapter XV. 


boy (like that of the single men in barracks 
who, according to Mr Kipling, "don't grow 
into plaster saints " ), and the glamorous mystery 
surrounding the opposite sex, tend to accentuate 
these difficulties. The habit of constant 
association with girls who are not his sisters 
relieves a boy of the exaggerated sense of 
sexual isolation. A boy always brought up 
with girls is not liable to be constantly thinking 
about girlhood : and in practical experience 
many people are aware that boys who have had 
the opportunity of frequent association with the 
girl friends of their sisters grow into purer- 
minded and more chivalrous men, than those 
who have lacked this advantage ; and the 
thoughtful future will assuredly cultivate the 
system which affords it. It is quite evident, in 
addition, that the fatuous and unreasonable 
mystery with which for centuries the natural 
facts most liable to be important in adult life 
have been made inevitable subjects of unholy 
curiosity, will be swept away, to the great en- 
hancement of sane and clean thought in girls 
as well as in boys, in young women even more 
than in young men : while the tragedies which 
knowledge can avert, hidden horrors of our 
own day that we are too sentimental to envisage, 
but that everyone must now and then have 
met with a hint of, will happily exist no more, 
or occur but rarely. 

Among the indirect considerations which 


will assist us to the conclusion that co-education 
is the best, will be the endeavour, everywhere 
apparent, to make the work of teaching agree- 
able to the taught. This is the keynote of the 
tendencies whose fruition we may look for at 
the end of this century. It will have been re- 
cognised that to conceive of education as a 
process of forcing knowledge into unwilling 
memories is to place the greatest possible 
obstacle in the way of success. Even the child 
whose natural faculties are joyously receptive 
is bound to resist more or less unconsciously 
teaching that is conducted on the assumption 
that he won't learn if he can possibly help it. 
The worst child in the class sets the tone of the 
rest. The boy who can most successfully 
evade real learning, and trick his instructors 
well enough to escape punishment, is the hero 
of the place. Nothing could be much worse 
for morality. Public opinion in schools, useful 
as it is in other respects, is everywhere harmful 
in this particular. The psedagogue of the 
future will proceed on a method far more 

In its essence it is quite easy to see what 
method the tendency of thought is likely to 
develop. Here, as in so many other places, 
etymology can help us. If we could think, 
whenever we talk or make plans concerning 
the subject, of what education really means — 
a drawinor-out of the natural faculties of the 


instructed — we should always conceive more 
rationally of the work. There is no animal 
whose greatest pleasures are derived from 
anything else than the exercise of its faculties. 
Our dog, whether he jumps and tears about in 
glee as we take him for a walk, or sits happily 
by our side, his head on our knees, his wistful 
eyes scrutinising our face, sympathetic with 
every emotion, illustrates this fact. In the 
one case he is exercising the natural faculties 
of speed and vigorous agility ; in the latter, the 
acquired and inherited faculties of mental 
comprehension. Shut him up in a room alone, 
or with an unfriendly person, and he is miser- 
able or goes to sleep, providently accumulating 
energy for the next opportunity of exercise. 
What I am not afraid to call his mental 
pleasures are not less keen, if I know anything 
at all of dogs (who have loved many of them) 
than his physical pleasures ; and I never had 
a dog in my life who would not cheerfully 
neoflect his food to come indoors and sit with 
me in my library. Are children's brains less 
energetic, less capable of yielding pleasure to 
their small proprietors than the brains of a 
dog ? One of the mistakes that we are already 
beginning to find out (and consequently one 
of those which we may expect to have amended 
long before this time next century) is the tacit 
assumption that games are richer in pleasure 
than study. It isn't the boys and girls them- 


selves that give this tincture to school-govern- 
ment. Plenty of them really prefer books 
before balls, until they go to school ; where 
we at once proceed to show them that we 
reeard cricket as a sort of alleviation of their 
hard lot, and with football console them for 
their French lessons, and redress arithmetic 
by "rounders," There is no reason why 
this should lead to any neglect of athletics. 
Only, athletics will be properly treated 
as only one of the joys of a school life that 
will be fulfilled of other pleasures equally ab- 

The method which will make education 
agreeable instead of repulsive is part and 
parcel of the system on which education will 
be conducted, and it is only incidentally that 
it will subserve the concurrent sentimental 
tenderness which finds expression to-day in 
unwise use of games in themselves highly 
beneficial, just as elsewhere it finds expression 
by cultivating gluttony.' 

^ Having properly decided that it is well for children to 
be fed plainly while at school, parents take the greatest 
pleasure in alleviating this plainness by " tuck baskets " 
during term, and the most wicked and immoral palate- 
tickling during hoUdays. Indeed an excessive appetite 
seems to be regarded even by quite sensible people as 
rather an ornament to the juvenile character. Mr Cooper, 
whose charming book. The Twentieth Century Child, has 
already been referred to, describes with what I am afraid 
is approval the incident of a boy whom he brought away 


Tl:ie true object of instruction being to 
show children how to think, the intellectual 
exercise of thinking will be always found, 
as it has already long ago been found where 
this highly unusual method has been ex- 
perimented with, to give keen pleasure to the 

A great deal that has been said both in regard 
to the excessive and in part exclusive training 
of memory, and in regard to the propriety of 
reversing the general order of tuition by pro- 
ceeding from concrete facts to generalised 
theories instead of beginning with generalisa- 
tions and illustratingtheseby specific instances, 
is, for practical reasons, hardly likely to be 
acted upon by our descendants. To begin 
with, the culture of memory is not in itself an 
abuse ; on the contrary, it is a highly necessary 
feature of education. What is an abuse is the 

from school for a pleasure-trip just after lunch, and who 
cheerfully devoured a second lunch in the company of his 
friend. Assuredly our descendants will make no such 
mistakes as this. 

I Tyndall "On the Importance of the Study of Physics 
as a Branch of Education," a lecture at the Royal 
Institution : quoted by Herbert Spencer in his Education, 
Intellectual, Moral and Physical, a work which, though 
not very practical, contains a mass of very suggestive 
matter on a subject which no one else, so far as I am 
aware, has approached in quite the same spirit. As this 
book has been reprinted at so low a price as sixpence, 
there is no excuse for any parent who is unacquainted with 
its absolutely invaluable teachings. 


substitution of remembrance for ratiocination. 
Teachers in the future will be more anxious to 
develop the mind from within than to graft 
information upon it from without. But they 
certainly will foster the faculty called memory 
— or to speak more exactly, they will refrain 
from destroying that faculty in the way that 
present-day education destroys it. For as a 
matter of fact, the memory of a young child 
who has never been taught anything is in- 
variably good, being both copious and retentive. 
One often hears it said that children quickly 
forget ; but it is also the case that they very 
quickly remember again. An Anglo-Indian 
friend told me a somewhat pleasing anecdote 
which (though of course it does not prove) 
illustrates a general fact of which anyone can 
find proofs for himself by a little observation. 
Having taken home for a year's leave his 
children, reared, like all other English children 
in India, amid native servants, and speaking 
quite correct Urdu instead of the barbarous 
dog-Hindustani which suffices for their elders, 
he was under the impression, when the 
"wicked day of destiny" arrived, and the 
family had to return from refreshment in 
England to labour in India, that they had 
completely forgotten the soft vernacular speech 
which formerly came much more easily from 
them than English. And his belief was con- 
firmed when, the children having been promptly 


carried off by the adoring servants, an aged 
bearer came to him almost in tears, complaining 
that '* Baba Sahib" could not understand him. 
But the next day all the litde people were 
chattering Urdu as easily as ever. The fact 
is that a child's mind concentrates itself 
intensely upon whatever subject interests at a 
given moment, and neglects everything else. 
By our present method of education we do all 
that the most malignant ingenuity could devise 
to destroy both this invaluable gift of mental 
concentration and the accompanying faculty of 
memory. The new teaching will industriously 
cultivate both. There is no doubt that the 
premature and unskilful use of books as im- 
plements of instruction is extremely bad for 
the memory ; and the employment of distaste- 
ful and inconsiderate methods of teaching 
is equally destructive of concentration. A 
hundred years hence, when it has been 
recognised that the easiest way to teach 
anything is to find out how a child can be made 
to want to learn about it, there will be no 
difficulty in securing attention. Children's 
minds do not, as most people suppose, tire 
very easily. On the contrary, they are with 
great difficulty fatigued. Anyone who has 
been so imprudent as to embark on a course 
of tale-telling near bedtime or near a meal 
hour, knows that the little people are almost 
incapable of being satiated. And the de- 


scendants of these little people will be just 
as insatiable of being taught, because we shall 
have found out how to make them want to be 

Herein is the whole keynote of the education 
of the future, moral as well as intellectual. 
We shall no longer treat good behaviour as if 
it were an artificial and unnatural abstinence 
from the true desires of the child or of man. 
We shall arrange that people, young and old, 
may wish to act rightly. The point of reform 
will be shifted. At present, all kinds of morality 
are approached on the assumption that it is 
requisite to persuade to an unwilling abstinence 
from vice, and that when the desires of the 
wicked have been curbed into a sort of ascetic 
abstemiousness prompted by fear of punish- 
ment, whether overt or implicit, a moral feat 
has been performed. The new morality will 
only be content when the subject of it would 
not sin if you asked him to. His moral sense 
will have been stoically cultivated. Obedience 
and the law of Thou-shalt-not will be dethroned. 
This law represents in the education of to- 
day the highest form of youthful virtue. Yet 
mere obedience, even where it has always 
been considered most valuable, namely, where it 
takes the shape of military discipline, has proved 
an utter failure ; the last two great wars proved 
the fact. If the lamentable doe2:erel which en- 
shrines the applauded self-immolation of Casa- 


bianca have not fortunately been forgotten 
altogether a hundred years hence, it will 
assuredly be quoted only as a monumental 
example of old-fashioned fat-headedness, even 
more offensive to the sense of reason than the 
verses themselves are to the sense of poetical 
taste. The Casabiancas of the next century 
will have been allowed — I do not say taught, 
because children don't need to be taught this 
— to think for themselves. And no great 
exertion will have been required. On the 
contrary, it is impossible to listen for many 
hours to what goes on in a modern school 
without being impressed with the ingenious 
arrangements that are required in order to 
prevent boys and girls from thinking for them- 
selves. The notion of their doing so seems as 
offensive to the present race of schoolmasters 
as, to Mr W. S. Gilbert's sentinel, — 

. . . "the prospect of a lot 
Of dull M.P.s in close proximity 
All thinking for themselves." 

However, the purpose of this dissertation is 
not so much to point out the errors of the 
present as to indicate the improvements of the 
future : and we may be sure that the prime 
virtues of the scholar a hundred years hence 
will be reasonableness and ingenuity, not dull 
obedience. Thus right conduct will be in- 
culcated, not as an expression of obedience 


but as the only reasonable way of behaving, 
and the incentive to right action will be that it 
is also sensible action. The test of all conduct 
will be its results. Whatever does harm to 
self and others will be obviously wrong ; what 
does ofood or is indifferent will be riorht. The 
standard of these things that has to be accepted 
all through life will be set up from the first, an 
enormous improvement upon the vicious 
system of exacting irrational obedience for the 
first eighteen or twenty-one years of life, and 
expecting this to produce reasonable self- 
o-overnment thereafter, which is so fruitful in 
the wild-oats of early adulthood. The latter 
could hardly be more ingeniously cultivated. 

It would be extremely rash to conclude that 
books will not be employed as implements of 
instruction : but it is quite certain that they 
will not be employed as they now are, chiefly 
for the purpose of saving a schoolmaster the 
trouble of making his pupils think for them- 
selves : and incidentally the abolition of this 
mistake will react most usefully upon memory, 
itself, with the exception of reasoning power, 
the most valuable of mental faculties. Oral 
teaching, accompanied in every possible place by 
practical illustration, will store and build up 
memory (as it always does when we employ it 
now) far more rapidly than anything else. The 
delight which this method of teaching confers 
upon the taught is enhanced by the avidity 


with which such subjects as chemistry, practical 
mechanics, and even geometry when taught 
with apparatus instead of with figures, are 
received by children of every growth. 

To imagine that children can ever invariably 
be controlled without some sort of punishments 
would, no doubt, be thought ridiculous Utopi- 
anism. But the greatest part of the necessity 
for correction will have disappeared automati- 
cally when the greatest source of youthful 
misbehaviour — restless superfluous activity — 
has been deviated into channels which will 
utilise it. Children whisper, fidget, or make a 
noise in class, simply because they are bored 
by the dulness of mechanical processes which 
we persistently use in seeking to cram informa- 
tion into their minds from without instead of 
exercising the reason that dwells within. As 
the education of future generations will as- 
suredly have to be a great deal more copious 
than what we are content with now, it is 
fortunate that this reform will also be a great 
economiser of time. Every schoolmaster 
knows that an interested class progresses far 
more rapidly than one that is bored and conse- 
quently inattentive ; and the same boy who is 
alive to the subtlest implications of the highly 
complex law of cricket, will often be found 
utterly incapable of applying the very simple 
definitions at the beginning of Euclid I., for the 
simple reason that cricket intere sts him, while 


Euclid doesn't. This is not because the 
latter is "harder" than cricket, nor yet because 
cricket is an outdoor pleasure, while Euclid is 
(or rather should be) an indoor one. It is 
because in cricket we get him into the habit of 
reasoning for himself, while in geometry we 
only too frequently fail to do what Euclid is 
supposed to help us to do. 

Nevertheless, after making every allowance 
for reduced temptations to misbehaviour re- 
sulting from the absorption of redundant 
mental activity, it is still to be feared that 
disciplinary punishment will sometimes be 
required. This will certainly not be corporal. 
The uncivilised and degrading expedient of 
purposely-inflicted pain is visibly on its last 
legs. There are still reactionary people who 
write to the papers in order to explain that 
the use of scholastic torture makes for manli- 
ness ; they must be presumed to think that it 
would be on the whole rather good for boys to 
be birched at intervals, like Charles Lamb, not 
as a punishment, but to keep them humble. 
But the next century will have outgrown such 
ideas. The commonest of present-day alter- 
natives — " lines " — is equally obsolescent, the 
evil effect of this upon handwriting and health 
being already recognised. " Keeping-in " is 
probably the most injurious of all forms of 
correction, but it is only too consistent with 
our present plans of education to treat extra 


tuition as a punishment — the best possible way 
to make all teaching hated. It is much more 
likely that the schoolmaster of a hundred years 
hence will punish refractory and inattentive 
pupils by keeping-out instead of keeping-in. 
The most detested of all chastisements will be 
exclusion from the pleasant exercise of learning. 
During the Russo-Japanese War newspaper 
readers noted with saturnine amusement that 
the artillery regiment which in St Petersburg 
had the maladroitness to fire a salute with a 
shotted gun and very nearly kill the Czar 
thereby, was punished by being sent to the 
front ; while at the beginning of hostilities the 
exemplary conduct of the enormous Japanese 
army crowded in Tokio for transport was 
accounted for by the threat that any soldier 
who misbehaved himself would be left at home. 
It is the Japanese and not the Russian ideal of 
discipline that will animate the schools of the 
future. We shall no doubt emulate the reserve 
of the Confessor in the Bab Ballads ; old heads 
upon young shoulders we shall not expect to 
find ; and we shall punish when punish we 
must. Future advantage, even for oneself, 
is seldom a very powerful motive with the 
young of any age. But present deprivation is 
a chastisement easily and keenly compre- 
hended : and the loss of intellectual status 
involved in exclusion from a lesson will no 
doubt supplement the immediate boredom very 


distasteful to an agile mind, which is the more 
immediate effect. I imagine that the naughty- 
child of the future will be punished by being 
shut up in a well-ventilated and well-lighted 
but perfectly empty room, with pockets equally 
empty. At the same time, by treating de- 
privation of it as an evident chastisement, the 
desirable nature of instruction will be in a very 
useful manner impressed upon the infant mind. 
Young persons much more easily believe what 
they find to be treated as a matter of course 
than what is laboriously impressed upon them 
by explicit inculcation. Thus the effect of 
rationalised education will not be, as one critic 
has rather rashly supposed, to make children 
little prigs. On the contrary, its effect will be 
to make them naturally and happily interested 
little learners — a very different thing. One 
of the very greatest improvements in the 
rationalised education will precisely be that it 
cannot possibly foster the awful priggishness 
which is a very common result of our own 

It has been said already that the education 
of the happy future will have to be much more 
copious than anything that is at all common 
nowadays. The nature of its extensions will 
next be discussed. 

One of the most important and most moral 
objects of education is to impress upon the 
mind, as a principle not to be evaded by any 


contrivance whatever, the fact that fixed causes 
(among which are personal acts of any kind) pro- 
duce fixed effects — that there is no circumstance 
which, with sufficient knowledge, could not be 
traced back to pre-existing causative circum- 
stance. No department of knowledge tends 
so intimately to give to the mind the impress 
of this fact in the course of its acquisition as 
physical science. And as a proficient acquaint- 
ance with physical science will be necessary to a 
great many occupations, when work of all kinds 
is performed in the intelligent manner in which 
we have seen reason to be convinced that it 
will be performed a hundred years hence, there 
will be a greater practical need for scientific 
instruction than there is now, though science is 
disgracefully neglected even with regard to our 
present necessities. As education is to be 
given with the object of fitting children for life 
as well as developing their minds, the science 
of health will certainly be taught ; but all 
physical sciences will have their place on the 
curriculum even at the early stages, because it 
will have been recognised that the habit of 
mind which is formed by studies of this kind is 
not only very necessary to an efficient working 
life, but also very helpful as a basis of practical 
culture. It may be conceived that a thorough 
"grounding" in physical science will be 
thought as much an essential of all education in 
the future as a really q^ood training; in Latin 


and Greek used to be considered in the past, 
and as many of us would like it to be con- 
sidered now. Fifty years ago we believed 
that no true education could be given in pre- 
paration for ordinary life without as much 
Latin as was necessary in order to be able to 
write a fair copy of elegiacs, and as much 
Greek as was necessary in order to read 
Homer with comfort. A hundred years hence 
we shall think it necessary to be able to read a 
scientific thesis comprehendingly. 

At a later period of school life, but still early 
in it, specialised instruction will no doubt be 
begun; and subjects connected with the evident 
tendency of a boy's or a girl's mind, and with 
the opportunities likely to be presented to either 
in forming a career, will be developed to the 
exclusion of subjects less immediately sub- 
servient to the object of making a useful citizen 
of him or her in some particular profession or 
branch of industry. Practical demonstrations 
of science, instead of being reserved for the 
more advanced stages of tuition, will, on the 
contrary, form the groundwork ; and children 
will be required to work practically themselves 
instead of merely sitting still to watch the per- 
formances (in this case apt to be regarded with 
little more respect than scholastic conjuring 
tricks) of a teacher. They will be invited to 
deduce laws for themselves from what occurs 
in practice, and where they deduce wrong ones 


they will not be arbitrarily corrected, but 
assisted to make further experiments which will 
show where the mistake occurs, until at last the 
correct generalisation is reached. Only after a 
considerable course of practical work will they 
be entrusted with books in which great 
generalisations are to be found ready made, 
and these books will always be regarded as a 
sort of pis aller — a time-saving contrivance to 
be employed as a regrettable alternative, 
because it would take too long to work every- 
thing out by the golden implement of individual 
observation. The habit of mind thus cultivated, 
and the manual dexterity thus obtained, will be 
of priceless practical worth in after-life; and 
with what rapturous enjoyment will our de- 
scendants acquire knowledge which at present 
we force upon our children with stripes ! 

Along with the physical sciences mathematics 
will have to be greatly cultivated. But mathe- 
matics, when perceived to be ancillary to the 
more immediately delightful work of concrete 
and experimental science, will lose much terror. 
Many mathematical operations can moreover 
be demonstrated experimentally, and no oppor- 
tunity of thus demonstrating them will be lost. 
Rightly treated, mathematics need never be dull. 
According to my own experience and all that I 
have been able to gather from the recollections 
of others, algebra (for instance) is never 
abhorred when a proper care is taken to make 


use of its call upon the reasoning faculties ; and 
the art of evoking this use will have been care- 
fully developed by the educational specialists 
who alone will be permitted to direct so delicate 
and important a task as the training of the 
young. For school teachers will not be merely 
more or less erudite people employed to dis- 
pense their learning : they will be men and 
women who have undergone long and careful 
instruction in the art of paedagogy studied as a 
specialised faculty in itself. 

After mathematics, no doubt languages 
occupy chief place in the righteous abhorrence 
of present-day school-children. I say righteous 
abhorrence with intention, because this depart- 
ment of useful learning always has the air of 
being purposely planned in order to secure the 
maximum of execration accompanied by the 
minimum of advantage. What languages will 
be taught a hundred years hence^ and in what 
manner will they be instilled into the children 
of our great - great - grand -children ? Any 
opinions upon a controversy so recent as that 
which a few months ago raged about the 
question of compulsory Greek must be more or 
less untrustworthy. Every man will take the 
view of the future of the dead languages (so 
called, as someone ' sanguinely remarked, be- 
cause they can never die) determined by his 
own view as to whether proficiency in the 

*1 think Mr Andrew Lang. 


tongues of Hellas and of Rome ought to be 
maintained in his own day. But for a reason 
probably admitting of very little controversy, it 
is at all events permissible to believe that the 
classical lanouao-es will at least not have to 
meet the urgent competition of a variety of 
current languages as subjects of useful learning. 
This reason is to be found in the evident 
tendency of a paramount tongue to extrude 
other tongues from practical employment in 
commerce ; and commerce, more than anything 
else, will of course always determine the 
question of modern language study. Provided 
that the race which becomes paramount in the 
markets of the world during the course of this 
century possesses a reasonably philosophical, 
copious, precise language, and one fairly easy 
to acquire, it is likely that for commercial 
purposes it will become (to use an incorrect, but 
not conveniently replaceable term) universal. 
To the facile remark that every nation considers 
its own speech easy enough for foreigners to 
acquire, and much more satisfactory in the 
other respects named than any tongue which it 
is invited to give itself the trouble of learning, 
may be opposed the reply that peoples do in 
fact recognise, where it exists, the unsatisfactory 
nature of their own speech. For example, 
nearly every Russian whom one meets in polite 
or commercial circles speaks at least French, 
and often speaks it admirably ; while in Norway, 


though the Scandinavian languages are none 
of them anything Hke so difficult to learn as 
Russian, practically everyone speaks English. 
The case of Japan is even more illustrative ; 
for apart from the fact that enough of some 
European language to enable one to travel with 
perfect comfort is always to be found current 
in the Mikado's empire, it is the case that even 
for domestic use the Japanese have a popular 
language, printed in newspapers and in some 
books alongside of the more literary Chinese 
idseographs, and frequently used to elucidate 
the latter.' 

Thus it is quite easy to believe that the 
paramount language of commerce will impose 
itself upon at least the business population of 
the whole world. As the substitution of 
modern languages for the dead languages is 
advocated solely on utilitarian grounds, which 

' Should we ever have a " universal " language, is it alto- 
gether chimerical to imagine that it might be an idasographic 
one? Provided that some simple code of idseographic 
writing were invented to denote the very limited number 
of concrete notions essential to commercial correspondence, 
no one who has had occasion to study Chinese, even in the 
most cursory manner, would think it at all a severe effort 
of the imagination to conceive of an idseographic notation 
as being used for business correspondence. In Chinese, 
the unit of expression is an idea. Words which relate to 
kindred subjects include, in their idseographs, the sign for 
the connecting link. Thus the idseograph for " agriculture " 
is made up of the sign for " strength " and for " a field." 
Consequently, although the Japanese language when 

THE CLASSICS, AD. 2000 167 

practically means that it is advocated because 
to know a couple or more foreign languages is 
useful in trade; and as no one has ever seriously 
pretended that French, German or any other 
modern language can compare with Greek and 
Latin as intellectual gymnastics and as training 
in the precise expression of one's thoughts ; it 
may be assumed that, on the ground of com- 
petitive usefulness, the latter will not need to 
be dispensed with. Whether the study of them 
will be abandoned on the ground that the time 
they require can be better employed in some 
study other than that of languages is another 
and more difficult question, the resolution of 
which depends upon the view we take of the 
literary tendencies probably existing after 
another century. If we believe that our de- 
scendants will have effected so many improve- 
ments in the shape of labour-saving contriv- 
ances as to afford a large increase of leisure for 

spoken sounds so entirely unlike Chinese that a person 
knowing neither can distinguish one from the other when 
heard across the width of a street, the Japanese can read 
Chinese books without difficulty, and one form of printing 
can be read by the Chinese of the North and those of the 
South, although the spoken dialects differ so much that 
" pidgin " English is often used by the two as a means of 
spoken communication. An idseographic medium of com- 
mercial writing (not of course so archaic nor so cumbersome 
as Chinese, but philosophically devised for the purpose) 
would release the student from all difficulties of speech and 
accent ; he would always name the signs to himself in his 
own language. 


everyone, as compared with what the present 
time enjoys, we shall probably expect the 
languages which enshrine the greatest literature 
of the world to remain a subject of study. If 
we believe in the growing intellectuality of man, 
we shall be strengthened in the same expecta- 
tion. If, on the other hand, we think that the 
progress of our race will exhibit itself in the 
shape of greedy utilitarianism and of idiotic and 
self-destructive immorality, we shall naturally 
conclude that no one will be fool enough to 
trouble himself with Homer or the Oresteian 
trilogy, the laments of Sappho or the philosophy 
of Plato. Seeino- what o"reat men have taken 
this somewhat despondent view of the future, 
it would perhaps be immodest to express any 
other opinion on the subject. 

In any event, we may safely believe that 
whatever lanofuaores are taught will not be 
handled in the manner now current. Mr 
Andrew Lang has, in more than one place, 
described his own " floundering- " into Homer 
— a plunge certainly attended with the happiest 
results. A method of teaching alien languages 
which founds itself upon an imitation of the 
natural picking-up of the mother tongue by 
babies has been suggested, perhaps without 
sufficient consideration of the vast expenditure 
of time necessary to the process, and certainly 
without sufficient allowance for the fact that it 
would be impossible to afford the same inces- 

THE CLASSICS, A.D. 2000 169 

sant practice which enables children to learn 
the language of their fathers and mothers so 
easily. But there is no reason why we should 
perpetuate the discouraging preponderance of 
grammatical and etymological study which 
caused the late H. D. Traill to say of certain 
professors that 

"They heard with a smile of the flowers of style 
For they recognised nothing but roots !" 

In fact, here as elsewhere, the persistent 
demand that schoolino- be made asfreeable will 
have the best possible effect in facilitating in- 
struction. 1 1 is as literature that all languages — 
including the native language of the scholars — 
will be taught ; and they will be taught far more 
easily than we have any example to assist us in 
imagining. Where a foreign language pro- 
nounced with a different accent and intonation 
from that of the learner is studied, no doubt 
(as already mentioned) talking machines will 
be employed : and in addition, pupils will be 
required to read and speak the language aloud 
on all possible occasions, in order to exercise 
the organs of speech in the alien manner,' 

^ A method, it may be added, which can very usefully 
be practised now. Those of us who "rub-up "our French 
or German a little before a summer holiday by reading a 
novel or two, would always find the results of this rubbing- 
up process to be greatly more effective, when presently 
utilised abroad, if we would read always a/oud instead of in 
silence according to the usual procedure. 


It is a trite saying, and one that need not be 
dwelt upon here, that history ought not to be 
taught as if its sole purpose were to store the 
memory with the deeds and misdeeds of kings 
and the progress of various wars. It will 
certainly be studied hereafter as a vast lesson 
in sociology and politics, as an illustration of 
the science of human dynamics. It is perhaps 
not superfluous to remark that brilliant examples 
of the new historiography have shown that 
the difference is not, in its result, so great as 
some critics imagine. But the deductions from 
the facts of history are the important matter : 
and the way in which history will be used a 
hundred years hence will be in instructing the 
future governors of the world how to use their 
citizenship wisely. Among other things ex- 
pected of the schoolmaster of the future will 
be that he implant in his scholars an ardent 
desire to do their part in determining the polity 
of the state they live in, and the sacred duty of 
the ballot will certainly be taught with relation 
to whatever methods of utilising the popular 
vote may by that time have become current. 

Moreover, history, like languages, is capable 
of being taught as literature; and the protest 
against the prevalent notion that high civilisa- 
tion involves the decadence of beauty in any 
form implies belief in all the arts as subjects of 
cultivation in the schools of the future. It need 
not be supposed that the unreasonable waste 


of time entailed by the present method of 
teaching such a subject as drawing, and our 
curious neglect of sculpture and modelling, 
will be perpetuated. As we can already see 
the dawn of new ideas on both these subjects 
the tendency of the future in regard to them is 
not difficult to conceive, nor need space be con- 
sumed in discussing them in detail. Literature 
and poetry (the latter, I need hardly say, no 
longer made merely hateful as the subject of 
the fatuous torture called " learning by heart ") 
with belles-lettres, drawing, painting, and sculp- 
ture, will no doubt be taught in an elementary 
way to all children, and the study of them 
developed further where a natural appetite 
demands it. In reply to the very natural 
question, " How can an art be taught?" it is 
only needful to say that minds exercised by 
being made to think about such subjects, are 
quite certain to exhibit special predilections in 
one place and special aversions in another, and 
that the ascertainment of these predilections 
and aversions will everywhere be made the 
subject of painstaking thought. While nobody 
seriously pretends nowadays that a taste for 
literature or the arts can be inoculated upon a 
child's understanding, I imagine that few will 
question the belief that a natural bent for any 
one of them can be assisted in its development, 
and that taste, while it is incapable of being 
artificially implanted, certainly is susceptible of 


being guided and assisted. The defect of 
routine teaching in aesthetics at present is the 
defect of all our systems of education. We try 
to do a scholar's thinking for him. We labori- 
ously show him how to use a pencil and how to 
copy drawings and pictures ; and sometimes 
(though this kind of instruction is usually re- 
tailed by the ingenious writers who endeavour 
to instruct the adult public through the Press) we 
even go to the trouble of telling him the kind 
of pictures he ought to admire (usually for- 
getting that in the house of Art there are many 
mansions, and that a disgust for the early Dutch 
masters does not necessarily imply an incapacity 
for appreciating Velasquez) ; but, whether in 
adolescence or maturity, we never seem to 
arrive at the point of trying to get people to 
think critically for themselves. We shall 
reform altogether the processes of artistic 
education in the course of this century. 

The training of eye and hand will certainly 
not be neglected. If only because learning 
any kind of handicraft gives the keenest enjoy- 
ment to children, we may be sure that manual 
instruction will be given, and that the effect of 
it will be of great value, not only recreative but 
also practical. Our mechanics will not have 
to inaugurate the wage-earning period of their 
lives by the elementary acquisition of the use 
of tools. Their future occupation will have 
been foreseen, and both by scientific under- 


standing of the processes they are to subserve, 
and by manual practice of the exact work they 
are to perform, they will be prepared for in- 
telligent craftsmanship ; the glorious fact that 
real anxiety to find out the best possible 
method of attaining the best possible results 
makes every craft, however humble, not merely 
delightful but also noble, being automatically 
grasped, so that work, like learning, will be a 
thing of joy and a source, to the worker, of 
lifelong self-respect. 

Thus in every department of education the 
result of the training administered intelligently, 
and with almost infinite lono-sig-htedness and 
subtlety during school-days, will be to form 
character, not by repression of any natural 
predilection, but by cultivation of mental and 
moral impulses to good. We shall never be 
content with an obedient abstention from mis- 
conduct, but shall unrestingly contrive that the 
desire to act rightly as well as wisely be im- 
planted in the mind, until wisdom, righteous- 
ness and forethought have been stamped upon 
the character with so indelible an imprint that 
it would do violence to the whole contour of 
the mind to act in defiance of them. A people 
thus trained will be capable of all the reforms 
predicted of society a hundred years hence. 
Not by any of the unimaginable cataclysms 
by which dreamers have expected Utopia to 
be established, ready-made, on a basis of 


unreformed obedience to the will of fantastic 
lawgivers, but by the steady growth of national 
morality will progress, 

" Moving as beauteous order that controls 
With growing sway the growing life of man," 

establish, on the basis of a perfect harmony 
between the nature of the units and the in- 
stitutions of society, the rationalised, moralised, 
and still progressive state of the world looked 
for by all who contemplate logically and with 
ordered faith the capabilities of their kind a 
hundred years hence. 



A GOOD many people contemplate the future of 
the world with an alarmed feeling that vast 
material progress and enlarged knowledge of 
the visible and tangible universe are likely to 
be accompanied by intellectual developments 
dangerous to the religious spirit in mankind. 
But to consider thus is to overlook the manifest 
trend of human thought at the present time. 
Of the two influences named, material progress 
and enlarged information about the universe, 
the former is probably much more directly 
liable to affect religious feeling adversely than 
the latter. Epochs of high civilisation and 
great luxury have often accompanied a general 
tendency to scepticism, and these conditions 
are also perhaps (and for the same reasons) not 
highly favourable to the highest developments 
of poetry. There have been periods of scientific 
discovery which have coincided with the spread 
of irreligion. During the second half of the 
nineteenth century there was, for instance, no 
doubt a great increase of popular scepticism 



arising out of popular deductions (or supposed 
deductions) from science. Religion unquestion- 
ably lost ground in the sense that dogmatic 
irreligion became rather fashionable. When 
the people began to learn that geological 
research had entirely upset the Biblical chrono- 
logy, and that biological research had proved 
the development of animal life by evolutionary 
processes not compatible with a literal accept- 
ance of the account of the creation in Genesis ; 
when knowledge of the developments of 
language proved that the various tongues of 
mankind could not possibly have been the 
subject of a sudden, cataclysmal "confusion" 
at Babel or elsewhere, and when it became 
common knowledo-e that the sun and stars were 
not suddenly produced for the convenience of 
man, but were, on the contrary, for the most 
part much older, as suns and stars, than the 
earth itself; it is not surprising that minds 
untrained in philosophical deduction leaped 
towards atheism, although, of course, none of 
these discoveries has any more to do with 
religion, as religion, than, say, chemistry has to 
do with music. Unless one takes a highly 
anthropomorphic view of the subject they are 
not even inimical to revelation. Of course it 
is open to anyone who chooses, to say that if 
the statements in the Bible, said to be inspired, 
are incorrect, the Creator (and Inspirer) either 
did not know how He had done His work, or 


told untruths about it ; and consequently that 
scientific discovery has disproved revelation. 
But that is what I have called a highly anthropo- 
morphic argument, and it may safely be left to 
the apologists to demolish. Assuredly it is not 
a sort of argument likely to be met with in 
the cultured and logical future. But it was 
an argument which commended itself very 
widely to the uncultured and illogical past, 
and great efforts were made to deal with it. 
These efforts were really inimical to religious 
faith. Religion having been declared to rest 
upon the irrefragable rock of Holy Scripture, 
there appeared to many excellent people an 
urgent necessity that science should be set 
right, that the theory of Evolution (by which 
was meant, for these thinkers, Darwinism) must 
be disproved : otherwise all faith must go by 
the board, and the world must descend into 
pure materialism. The Biblical criticism pro- 
duced in Germany, and apparently received in 
the very heart of the Christian camp, seemed 
to plain men not merely to assail this irrefrag- 
able rock but to strike at the roots of religion 
itself. Atheism, having become unfashionable, 
was exchang-ed from an " ao-nosticism " of which 
the popular conception was not a great deal 
more philosophical. The whole question of 
religion was conceived to hang together. The 
Bible was the Word of God : if the Bible could 
not stand, God must fall. And the stability of 



the Bible was considered to rest upon scientific 
accuracy. A miscellaneous collection of writ- 
ing's, certainly of great, but of variously 
computed antiquity, was to be absolutely right 
(which no other documents of anything like the 
same age have ever been) on scientific facts ; 
otherwise it could not be retained as a text-book 
of the churches. The latter (sometimes them- 
selves claiming inspiration) had declared the 
Bible to be directly inspired : and by some 
people inspiration was taken to imply literal and 
detailed truth, though literal and detailed truth 
would certainly have made the collection utterly 
incomprehensible by the persons who have used 
it during all but the last comparatively insignifi- 
cant portion of its existence, and to most persons 
even then. Evidently such a conception of the 
Bible, accompanied by the opinion that religion 
could only exist on the basis of the Bible, was 
dangerous to popular religion in proportion as 
the opinions here summarised met with public 

Hardly less dangerous was the endeavour 
of some apologists to assist the difficulty of 
belief by attenuating the minimum required of 
it. The exposure of their rather circular 
arguments — basing Faith on the inspired 
Bible, and the inspiration of the Bible on its 
internal evidence — titillated in the untrained 
thinker who had rejected (as he was en- 
couraged to reject) the claim of the Church to 


be the repository of inspired tradition, a sense 
of his own logical acuteness. With a warm 
glow of self-approval he abandoned the ancient 
shibboleths and left off Sfoing- to church, beine 
convinced that no really well-informed intelli- 
gence could tolerate the mutual contradiction 
of science and religion. With no more ability 
to understand the arguments which supported 
the one than the philosophy which lay at the 
root of the other, and quite unaware that 
religious belief is capable of development and 
is as much a product of evolution as any 
material phenomenon, he considered according 
to temperament that religion was either a 
mischievous invention calculated to clog the 
progress of the world, or a pardonable aberra- 
tion of amiable minds seeking consolation in 
superstition of one sort or another. The 
religiously-minded thinker of the same calibre 
welcomed with enthusiasm the antagonisms of 
scientific schools discovered for him by the 
less wary of his teachers, and decided that 
Darwin was wrong, that Huxley was following 
false scents, and that science would have to 
revise all its later conclusions. In neither 
case (naturally) was 

. . . "divine philosophy. 
Not harsh and crabbed as dull fools suppose, 
But musical as is Apollo's lute," 

called into the assize. *' Mistakes of Moses," 


to be either proved or justified, were popularly 
supposed to be the touchstone of religion's 
fate. Meanwhile, though the combatants in 
the popular arena were quite unaware of it, 
the true thinkers were realising vast depths 
which science had left still unexplored, and the 
very investigations undertaken to account for 
the beginnings of life on this planet were prov- 
ing the belief in the spontaneous generation of 
life a figment. Whatever effect science may 
have had upon myth, it was doing nothing to 
assail the ultimate mystery which is the basic 
fact of religion. 

By degrees, too, the philosophical unten- 
ableness of materialism began to be popularised, 
and although it is a great deal easier to 
accept (or decline) scientific discoveries with- 
out understanding the evidence for or against 
them than to grasp such abstract considera- 
tions as the subjectivity of phenomena, popular 
scepticism began to be directed into new 
channels. If we could only know phenomena 
we really know nothing ; and it was just as 
likely that the most absurd myths of the 
hagiologist might be true as that they might 
be false — since one could know nothing. 
Towards the end of the century there is no 
doubt that among the masses of the people the 
incomprehensibleness of things in general had 
the effect of popularising a certain tolerance 
of Christianity among the class which, a little 


earlier, had been repudiating it altogether ; 
and if church-going, Sabbath-keeping and 
other formal acts of religion continued to be 
mentioned by the clergy and their adherents 
as the subject of lamentable negligence, the 
habits thus deplored arose, less and less from 
conviction and more and more from taste. 
People stayed away from church not because 
they rejected Christianity but because church- 
going bored them. If the clergy saw their 
congregations dwindle they had themselves to 
thank for it. The atrocious dulness of nearly 
all sermons drove away more churchmen than 
were lured from their pews by militant 
irreligion. There is not the smallest reason to 
believe that " free thought " propaganda had 
any really important part in producing the 
indifference denounced by the churches. The 
simple fact is that a growing appetite for 
amusements, athletic and other, and an in- 
tolerance of the boredom inflicted by preachers 
too indolent or too imperfectly educated to 
make their discourses tolerable by an active 
mind, robbed the churches of their visitors. 
A good preacher never lacked a crowded 
congregation even in the middle of a week- 
day in the city of London ; nor are such con- 
gregations lacking now. 

No doubt the form of education generally 
adopted in non-Catholic countries has been a 
great cause of indifferentism. The fosteritig of 


parental indolence by States which profess to 
relieve it of the duty of religious as well as the 
expense of other teaching, cannot tend to 
promote religious education. To take our own 
country for an example, fathers, who would 
make it a duty to instil as well as they were 
able the principles of their own faith into the 
minds of their children if the board schools 
were not supposed to teach Christianity, doubt- 
less neglect that task in the existing conditions, 
a fact which makes it quite easy to understand 
why congregations are so largely made up of 
elderly people, while boys and girls, not young 
enough to be haled unwillingly to the parental 
pew, and young men and maidens, young wives 
and husbands "educated" on the prevailing 
system, tend more and more to amuse them- 
selves, not in irreligion but in indifference. 
The squabbles of the sects have made it im- 
possible to invest Christianity in board schools, 
unless the law be flagrantly violated, with any 
of the importance necessary to the foundation 
of a genuinely religious spirit ; and the very 
children find that religion is treated as a thing 
of much less importance than sums or a good 
handwriting. No one struggles and wrangles 
about the right way to do long division. Long 
division, therefore, is a settled thing and im- 
portant. But everybody quarrels and snarls as 
to who shall teach his particular kind of religion. 
Religion, therefore, is a doubtful sort of thing, 


about which even grown-up people do not 
agree. It cannot be of much importance. If 
you ask father about it, he says it is the 
teacher's business to answer you. And in 
school, it has to be attended to at a certain 
time so as not to interfere with the real business 
of the day. Clearly it doesn't much matter ; 
and the child resolves, as soon as it is old 
enough, to escape from the weekly boredom of 
sitting still for two hours in a stuffy church or 
chapel, saying the same things over and over 
again, and listening to a dull man in a sort of 
elevated and ornamented witness-box talking 
in a patronising tone about things not easy to 
understand, and not in the least practically 
useful when heard. 

Of course this is not the only sort of influence 
which has been at work to produce a result 
likely to affect the attitude of the present 
century towards the question. If the facts are 
as I have stated them (which I do not think 
anyone will dispute) we see one very good 
reason why the younger generation is just now 
somewhat irreligious, I do not believe it is 
nearly as irreligious as many good people (on 
both sides) think. But I do believe that we, at 
all events, have as a nation been doing every 
thing we can to make it so. There is no surer 
way of preventing a thing's being done than 
for the State to make a show of doing it and 
then neglect it. if the school boards had 


not assumed the duty of teaching children 
Christianity, parents would have attended to 
the matter, and probably done it a great deal 
better than the boards could possibly have done 
it, even in the best conditions. And if anyone 
says that you can't teach Christianity, the reply 
is, that in the sort of conditions which exist in 
England at the present time, the religious spirit 
is not favoured unless relicrion is tauofht. I 
said at the beginning that the sort of life we 
lead now, and that we are likely to go on living 
during the next hundred years, is probably 
more unfavourable to the spirit than any 
directly irreligious influence of science or dis- 
covery. People who are crowded into towns, 
where they are out of constant touch with 
Nature and the immensities of space, and lead 
a hurried, busy existence unfavourable to deep 
thought and mysticism, are much less liable to 
yearn for some explanation of the vast incom- 
prehensible universe, the profound misgivings 
of the soul, than people who have other oppor- 
tunities, who know the massive face of solitude 
and have lain under the inscrutable stars. The 
very frequency of terrible experience, when 
death stalks in the streets and a funeral pro- 
cession is so common a sight that men hardly 
turn their unbared heads to look upon it, 
blunts the sense of awe ; and in the cheap 
Press the alleged humorist finds it a choice 
subject for joking. A hundred years hence, 

RELIGION, A.D. 2000 185 

though I hope our humorous Press won't be 
quite so ghastly, still more of us will have lived 
always in cities, and been rarely intimate with 
Nature. Unless, therefore, some new influences 
supervene, it is likely that the new age will 
be even less religiously inclined than the age 
we live in. Is it probable that such an in- 
fluence will arise? Or will the next century 
have turned its face altogether from faith and 
given up in despair the world-old riddle of the 
universe ? 

Assuredly, with the increase, impossible to 
be denied, of conditions unfavourable to church- 
going, the influence which could arrest the 
tendencies of thought at present supposed to 
exist must be a powerful one. But in comput- 
ing the exact potency which it would require to 
possess we must take an accurate view of the 
tendencies themselves. Now, although dog- 
matic religion has to a certain extent lost 
ground, and though formal observances are 
somewhat neglected, it would be a fallacy to 
consider that morality is in consequence retro- 
grading. The steady growth of such things as 
teetotalism ; the revolt of the public conscience 
against tame stag hunting and against what 
was aptly called "murderous millinery"; the 
support afforded to the societies for the Protec- 
tion of Children and for the Prevention of 
Cruelty to Animals ; the generous responses 
made to any appeal for public subscriptions to 


meet any great disaster ; the remarkable way 
in which the working people, out of their miser- 
able poverty, help each other in time of strikes ; 
the waves of public indignation which the ex- 
posure of any great injustice is able to arouse ; 
all show that the world is by no means retro- 
grade in respect of morals. What is often called 
the growing sentimentality of the age, which 
opens all pockets at the call of want, and doubt- 
less sometimes leads to ridiculous exhibitions of 
mistaken feeling, is a proof that the ethical 
sense of the people is by no means blunt ; and 
it shows a constant tendency to become keener. 
It is mysticism rather than morality which is 
chiefly lacking to a re-development of the 
religious spirit. And although the opinions of 
the mass of the people are likely to be in- 
fluenced at all times more by the results at 
which what are called leaders of thought arrive 
than by the reasons which lead up to those 
conclusions, it is rational to expect that with 
the improved and much more thoroughly dis- 
seminated education which the necessities of 
the coming century are going to enforce upon 
us, will make the people more accessible to 
philosophical reasoning than they have ever 
been since Socrates. Consequently, the general 
attitude of the world a hundred years hence 
towards mysticism will depend greatly upon 
the conclusions of eminent thinkers. These 
conclusions will require time in order to exercise 

MYSTICISM, A.D. 2000 187 

their influence ; but it seems probable that the 
influence will be towards and not away from 

An attempt to foresee the probable position, 
as an institution, of religion in the future there- 
fore demands the consideration of what net 
result is likely to be deduced from science and 
philosophy by the improved average intelligence 
of this century. I speak expressly of religion 
as an institution, intending thereby to limit the 
inquiry to an attempt to determine the popular 
view of religion ; the pretence to anticipate the 
opinions of the great philosophers that this 
century will no doubt produce being a little too 
presumptuous even for the present writer, 
who may not be considered in any event to 
have fallen into many errors resulting from ex- 
cessive modesty. 

We can only come within reasonable limits 
of safety and consistency in such an inquiry 
by allowing here, as I have allowed all through, 
for a great increase in general intelliafence. 
Probably the mass of the population will be less 
greatly removed in reflective and reasoning 
powers from the greatest minds than at present; 
because the changes which have been predicted 
are likely to have more effect in raising the 
general standard of intelligence than in pro- 
ducing individual and exceptional minds of 
very great calibre. 

No doubt the people will be in closer touch 


with advanced thinkers than now. But I do 
not see any reason for supposing that the 
latter can be conspicuously greater than the 
thinkers of past time, from Plato to Herbert 
Spencer. Consequently it is impossible to 
restrict the inquiry to strictly popular de- 
velopments. We must ask what direction 
abstract thought is likely to take : and it 
certainly does not seem that the influence of 
recent discoveries in physics — especially those 
which have produced the new theory of the 
constitution of the atom — can tend to 
materialism. With atoms resolved by the 
latest science into electrons, which have been 
declared in a passage already cited to be 
not merely carriers of electrical charge but 
the electrical charges themselves, the objec- 
tivity of matter has assuredly not received 
any new support. And if speculation as to 
the beginning of things (always the kind of 
speculation most important to philosophy, 
where philosophy is made the handmaid of 
religion) is relieved of the necessity of 
accounting for the creation of matter, and 
only has to concern itself with the creation 
of force, we evidently approach the more 
abstract conception of a *' Something not our- 
selves " which is admittedly the philosophical 
necessity most favourable to spiritual religion. 

But for many people natural religion is a 
poor alternative for revelation, and if we 


interrogate probability as to the future of a 
faith in directly-revealed religion we approach 
a much more difficult question. The verbal 
inspiration of Scripture appears to be no 
longer regarded as a necessity of this faith ; 
and with its final abandonment we shall no 
doubt enter upon a period of much more 
abstract thought and of vaguer belief, but (as 
I think) also a far more spiritual attitude 
towards the Unseen. From the moment when 
faith is relieved of all danger from the critical 
discrediting of any particular set of documents, 
it is of course freed from certain orreat dang-ers. 
Probably the Christian of the year 2000 will 
have abandoned all dependence upon the 
authenticity of the original sources of informa- 
tion, and will be quite ready to let what used 
to be regarded as the foundations of belief take 
their place with other mythologies. But this 
position need not be regarded as irreligious ; 
possibly it need not be considered un-Christian. 
The hospitality which all truly religious thought 
begins to extend, not merely to uncanonical 
scriptures but to the best religious thought 
of all ages, will strengthen rather than weaken 
the spiritual attitude ; and, however we may 
probe into the sciences of life and of the 
universe, the awful mysteries which lie beyond 
the sphere of science will always tempt man 
to speculate and to aspire. Always we shall 
yearn towards the eternities which preceded 


and the eternities which must follow the little 
interval that we call Time. Always beside the 
grave that has closed upon what we have loved, 
despair will lure us on to seek consolation in 
a faith which promises re-union beyond the 
bourn. Always the manifold injustice of Fate 
will make aspiration inevitable. Always the 
uplifting spectacle of the stars, the immensities 
of ocean and infinite mysteries of the soul of 
man will make us welcome the spiritual teach- 
ing which can throw gleams of mystic illumina- 
tion upon the riddles of the universe and 
justify the ways of God to man. We may 
not always see our way to find efficacy in 
ritual incense ; we may not long continue to 
ask direct interventions of the Deity in prayers 
which we know in a literal sense to be un- 
thinkable and profane ; we may cease the 
impertinence of offering suggestions to the 
Maker of the world on the subject of next 
week's weather; and yet when we uplift our 
hearts in aspiration and beg that we may 
divine more spiritually the nature of the 
Creator, and learn to love our neighbour 
more effectually and with a better enlighten- 
ment, we may still pray and know that our 
prayer is answered. If we cease to think 
that wicked men descend into some chastise- 
ment of which fire and flames are the 
abandoned symbols, we may still realise that 
none can act against the moral intuitions of 

PRAYER, A.D. 2000 191 

his nature without mutilating his own soul : 
and if this soul of man be immortal, its punish- 
ment is thus eternal also, and can be cancelled 
only by the act of divine mercy which we 
shall still call man's redemption. We begin 
to know something of the mind's independence 
of the body where (in phenomena of which 
evidence seems to be accumulating) mind can 
speak to mind by other means than the senses : 
and everything which points that way cuts 
fresh ground from under the notion that bodily 
death is the end of us. Although the philo- 
sophical theory of immortality does not need 
this evidence, faith is assisted by it. On the 
great ideas which are the support and justifica- 
tion of religion there seems no reason to suppose 
that the discoveries of the next hundred years 
are likely to throw discredit. 

To sum up, then, I believe that the effect of 
improved education will be to conserve rather 
than to destroy religion ; but I do not believe 
that religion will be a historical so much as a 
philosophical conception. The present great 
obstacle to religious feeling in non-Catholic 
countries, namely the pretence of the State to 
" teach religion " as if it were a science or an 
art, will have been removed some while before 
this time next century, and individual effort 
will be cultivated in this, as in certain other 
respects, instead of being repressed. The 
Bible will be read for its morals, its poetry, its 


literature ; and the aspiration to conceive the 
Divine will continue to take the shape of some 
kind of public worship probably much unlike 
anj'thino' which we now practise, and totally 
divorced from any faith in miracles and verbal 
inspiration. In religion men will seek their 
consolation against the buffeting and injustice 
of destiny, and in a more reasoned notion of 
immortality dry their eyes before the poignant 
spectacle of Death. 

The whole tendency of the modern mind is 
to become more spiritually imaginative. We 
are often scornfully told that this is an age of 
hysteria, when the mere fact is that it is an age 
of imagination. The highly civilised life of 
our day ^ naturally exalts intelligence in com- 
parison with mere activity of body ; mind gains 
ascendency over muscle. It is much more im- 
portant to worldly success just now that a man 
should be able to think accurately than that he 
should be able to lift great weights, endure 
great physical fatigues or fight satisfactorily. 
Consequently, there is a great premium upon 
intelligence, and only a much smaller premium 
upon bodily strength ; and this condition of 
affairs is likely to become accentuated as the 
present century develops. With increase of 
intellectual agility we obtain increase of subtlety 
and intuition, and of those finer perceptive and 

^ Over-civilised, if one please, but I do not admit for an 
instant that man can be over-civilised. 

THE FINE ARTS, A.D. 2000 198 

critical faculties which make expression of the 
emotions important and interesting. It has 
often been argued that epochs of high civilisa- 
tion are unfavourable to poetry and the fine 
arts, and a well-known passage of Macaulay 
argues the point at some length. Whether 
such an epoch as that of a hundred years hence 
be probably fertile in art or no, assuredly 
appreciation of the fine arts will be widespread 
and acute. Of course you can never account 
for the extraordinary phenomenon called genius, 
and while it is no doubt true that genius, like 
everything else, is the product of its age, yet 
genius consistently transcends its age. The 
number of minds in a thousand able to bring a 
reasonable degree of competent appreciation to 
the writings of Shakespeare is much greater 
now than when Shakespeare wrote. There 
never was a time when a great writer, or a 
great painter (despite what happened to 
Whistler) was in less danger of public neglect 
than the present. And the next century will 
be yet more critical than this. Every one of 
the fine arts will be more generally and more 
subtly appreciated than now. The existing 
masterpieces of antiquity will be even more 
reverently enjoyed than now, and the lessons 
they embody will be more completely assimi- 
lated. It remains to be answered, whether the 
next century will be fertile in new masterpieces 
of literature and art. 


There has been, in my opinion, too great a 
readiness on the part of most writers to assume 
that high civilisation necessarily creates epochs 
of ugliness. No doubt railways, factories and 
other civilised and civilisinsf conveniences do 
not, in the natural course of things, tend to 
assume forms gratifying to the sesthetician. 
The present tendency of domestic architec- 
ture, for instance, shows an abject sort of 
spirit by basing any effort which it may 
make for comeliness on an attempt to imitate the 
picturesqueness of the past rather than to form 
new and beautiful styles adapted to modern 
requirements. Because old red-brick, timbered 
rough-cast, and the quaintly-shaped buildings 
of old time please the eye by contrast more 
than by inherent beauty, unintelligent builders 
just now think they can redeem dwelling- 
houses from plain ugliness by imitating these 
peculiarities, and they are encouraged in this 
course by the people who are to live in such 
houses and by the exploiters of estate develop- 
ment. But such fine examples as the new West- 
minster Cathedral show that the spirit of beauty 
has not left our architects. The growing- 
intelligence of the new age ought, at all 
events, to develop, as its resources will reward, 
originality. And the developed aestheticism of 
the age will demand beautiful buildings, not 
slavishly copied from the antique, but created 
by the iaiaginalion of the modern. Reverence 


for natural beauty, already manifest in the 
revolt against advertisement-boards in juxta- 
position with notable scenery and even along 
the sides of railways (where one would have 
thought that a little more ugliness could do no 
great harm) will no doubt be accentuated when 
the unviolated virginities of Nature have become 
fewer ; and a steady growth of public taste is 
evidenced even now by the success of the better 
sort of street advertisements and the failure of 
the uglier kind, as demonstrated by the steady 
abandonment of the latter. The most fashion- 
able artists no longer think it beneath them to 
design wall-posters. If the advertisers who 
pay their large fees find it profitable to purchase 
art in an expensive market, it must be because 
popular taste is better than it used to be ; and 
even if the cult of the photograph and the 
process block in illustrated newspapers, to the 
detriment of drawings and wood engravino-s 
be cited as evidence in the other direction, we 
have a right to quote in rebuttal of this the 
rather violent efforts of the more intelligent 
class of amateurs to secure a recognition of 
selective and manipulated photography as an 
art. Moreover, just as some critics have 
argued that it is better for the people to read 
the atrocious letterpress of the popular papers 
than not to read anything, it can also presum- 
ably be contended that it is better for the 
people to look at photographs reproduced by 


" process " than not to look at any pictures at 
all, though, in reality, it is doubtful whether 
bad pictures and inferior " literature " are not 
much worse and much more dcCTrading- to 
popular taste than none. That we really do 
care for pictures even in England (however 
little critical ability we may possess to dis- 
tinguish good pictures from bad) is evidenced 
by the crowds which throng the Royal 
Academy. It would be better if they thronged 
the National Gallery ; but even the Royal 
Academy is evidence : and the success of the 
sixpenny-admission plan on the days when it is 
adopted, and the large attendance at Burlington 
House on Bank Holidays, prove that the taste 
for pictures is shared even by the least educated 
part of the public. Thus there is no reason to 
be found in present tendencies for apprehending 
a decay of aestheticism as a result of material 
progress. Probably even the cheap papers 
will eventually improve, both in their read- 
ing-matter and in their illustrations, when 
it grows less profitable than it is at present 
to print the worst attainable examples of 

Of course it would be very easy to argue 
that the tendency of all this is rather to develop 
a somewhat higher standard of mediocrity than 
to produce brilliant examples of art in any 
manifestation. Beauty, up to a certain point, 
can be bought. The demand will evoke the 

SCULPTURE, AD. 2000 197 

supply. But the highest manifestations of the 
beautiful must be the spontaneous product of 
subtle brains and lissom finorers workinor for 
Art's sake. Yet it is also not very difficult to 
show that circumstances affect production even 
of the highest. An example may be found in 
the extraordinary merit of modern French 
sculpture, as compared with the wretched work 
produced in England. In the Paris Salon, 
which may be said to correspond with our 
Royal Academy, sculpture is shown in a 
manner which renders the huddled cloak-room 
full of mediocre marble and third-rate work in 
clay at Burlington House almost too painful to 
be ludicrous. However meritorious the work 
of an English statuary, he would get no chance 
— does get no chance — in the Academy 
exhibition : and there is every justification for 
the opinion that it is not bad work which in 
this country produces official neglect, nor good 
work which in France has for many years led 
to the loving care with which sculpture is 
shown in Paris ; but on the contrary, that the 
real opportunity which a French sculptor 
obtains has been just as instrumental in foster- 
ing the art there as our own utter neglect to 
appreciate sculpture of genius has been in 
stifling the art here. The French treatment 
of sculpture has not merely raised the standard 
of average production. It has fostered actual 
genius. Even so the opportunities which the 


social conditions of a hundred years hence will 
afford to art will assuredly promote the artistic 
conditions favourable to the development and 
fostering of genius, whenever genius, in its 
shy, fairy-like way, contrives to be born, no 
man knows how. A general power of appreci- 
ating masterpieces has never been alleged to 
be unfavourable to their production. What is 
unfavourable to it in a highly civilised age is 
the hurry and preoccupation which leave no 
time for the appreciative faculties to employ 
themselves. It has been very well said that 
the feature most inimical to art in American 
civilisation is the absence of a "leisure class." 
If there be any validity in the conclusions for 
which I have been trying to win acceptance' 
in the earlier chapters of this work, the new 
age will be an age of greatly increased leisure 
in all ranks, and this condition ought to favour 
art in every way as highly as the improvement 
in the nature as well as in the extent of educa- 
tion must also favour it. And in this there will 
be both action and reaction — increased leisure 
and improved appreciation tending to foster 
genius, genius in the glorious perfection of its 
work generously returning the benefit by culti- 
vatinor and refinino- the aesthetic sense of the 

o o 

new age. 

Similarly in literature we may hope that the 
atrocious consequences of instruction applied 
' Ante, Chapter III. 

LITERATURE, AD. 2000 199 

to a vast number of minds which no attempt 
is made to educate will be only temporary. 
Popular " literature " and journalism at the 
present time might well strike with despair 
the most hopeful heart. But when we re- 
member that no attempt whatever is being 
made to educate the faculty of imagination, 
and that we stubbornly restrict all teaching 
to a vehement effort to cram as many facts as 
possible into the mind of the scholar, with no 
endeavour at all to improve the qualities of 
that mind itself; and when we grant, as I 
think any reasonably intelligent prevision of 
the future must grant, that all this will before 
many decades have to give place to really 
educational processes : it seems evident that 
the future will gradually fling aside in deserved 
contempt the basely illiterate products of the 
printing press which enrich popular publishers 
and newspaper proprietors to-day, redeem 
poetry from its present practical neglect, and 
revive and enrich the belles lettres, which, 
even in the latter part of the nineteenth 
century and these latter years of the dawning 
twentieth century, have contrived to appear 
in masterpieces for which readers, fit, if few, 
have never ceased to exist. One result of 
this will be to end, and end for ever, the 
idiotic and reactionary policy of " limited 
editions " for beautiful books, by which alone, 
in many cases, the production of such books 


has been made possible. As the public for 
fine literature decently printed becomes gradu- 
ally larger, there will no longer be any object 
in accentuating popular ignorance by with- 
holding from the greatest part of the public the 
opportunity to possess and to enjoy the best 
work in letters that the age is producing, and 
it will be possible for the poet of delicate 
imagination, the essayist of subtle insight, 
and the story-teller of restrained and modest 
genius, to be as well paid as the inventors 
of nightmare horrors and the biographers of 
impossibly ingenious detectives apparently 
are to-day. 

There remains to be considered the much 
less difficult problem of the sort of progress 
likely to be made in the mechanical implements 
of the fine arts. Some conceivable develop- 
ments in what may be called the mechanism of 
literature have been discussed in the chapter 
on journalism, and just as it was there predicted 
that the forms of language hallowed by tradi- 
tion and made classic by antiquity and intrinsic 
beauty must always continue to be employed, 
so in the arts it is impossible to believe that 
the classical methods of expression can ever 
become obsolete. But to say this is not to im- 
ply that new processes are incapable of being 
applied to the arts. Nothing which the future 
may evolve as a modelling substance can con- 
ceivably render obsolete clay or make marble 


antiquated ; but innovation is always possible 
and may always in the right hands yield new 
tributes of loveliness. Prejudice is difficult to 
overcome where art is in question. But as was 
recently seen in the invention of solid oil paints, 
new media are quite capable of creating new 
modes of expression, and daring as is the flight 
of imagination required by such a notion, may 
it not be conceived that the new methods of 
intercommunication between mind and mind, 
which may develop out of the new psychology 
of our own aee, mieht furnish the medium of a 
new literature ? 

In music it does not seem necessary to 
surmise that the classical gamut must be the 
last word of melodic thought. The barrier be- 
tween East and West in regard to musical ex- 
pression — a barrier as yet so firm as to make us 
feel that " never the twain can meet" — is pre- 
cisely of this nature. A remark by an Indian 
scholar educated in England, and as well versed 
in Western as in Eastern art, is pregnant of 
promise. He said to a friend of the present 
writer, " There is no doubt that in every form 
of invention, in every development of intellect, 
you surpass us, save in one. Your music is 
poor and mean, compared with the music of 
the East." 

Now to any English ear the music of 
Asia is as yet a mere snarl of incomprehensible 
cacophonies, destitute alike of melody, harmony 


or rhythm. But that it has laws of its own, 
intricate, involved and subtle, no one can doubt. 
I remember, one night, finding my way into a 
Chinese lodging-house in an Australian city. 
From one of the cubicles with which it was 
filled came what seemed to me " a rueful noise 
and a o-hastful " — a noise as if some more than 
usually vocal tom-cat were being severely ill- 

From time to time the noise ceased, to 
be succeeded by energetic disputations in the 
thin nasal and guttural tones of South China, 
themselves, I knew, graduated in pitch, as all 
Chinese talk requires to be in order to be 
understood. Making my way to the source of 
these sounds, I found four young Chinamen. 
One of them was enoaoed in an unabashed 
bathing of his lower limbs. Other two were 
squatting on the floor to enjoy the music of the 
fourth, who sat on a high packing-case, holding 
a book in his toes, and performing on an instru- 
ment something like a violin. From time to 
time one of the others would interrupt, criticis- 
ing the executant, and the book would then be 
referred to with energy and something as much 
like excitement as one ever sees a Chinaman 
display. The musician would extract a few 
notes from the instrument, clearly in defence of 
his renderinof. Then the tumult would die down 
while the wailing of the smitten strings went on 


Now it cannot be impossible to fathom 
the obscurities of Oriental music : and it is 
quite possible that they may, in the future, 
yield new harmonies and melodies as yet 
undreamed-of to the West ; for the differ- 
ence is mainly, if I understand aright what 
Orientals say of it, a difference of scale. No 
doubt the conventions are all different. I 
have often observed in India that music con- 
sidered to possess a jovial character is a 
shrill wailing in slow time ; whereas funereal 
music always sounds a lively air. Western 
civilisation finds no difficulty in comprehend- 
inof the decorative art of India and the Far 
East, nor in highly appreciating it. May 
not Eastern music have gifts for us as yet 

But of course painting has a much more 
direct appeal to the emotions than music, and it 
is not at all difficult to imagine — nay, it is hardly 
possible to doubt — that a new manner in 
painting will from time to time develop, 
arriving out of newly-invented implements 
and materials. 

Doubtless improved methods of reproduction 
will multiply the numbers of those who can 
enjoy the masterpieces of the new age and of 
the old, just as in music it will unquestionably 
be possible to repeat satisfactorily an indefinite 
number of times any sounds that have once 
existed. Neither will any of the arts per- 


manently suffer by the mechanical improve- 
ments applied to them — though the first 
employment of the latter will doubtless often 
have results which will be, to the artist, rather 



The next century will certainly be a frugal 
age in the sense of planetary frugality. With 
a greatly-increased call on the resources of the 
world entailed by the vast increase of popula- 
tion it will be absolutely necessary for us to 
"make the most of what we here do spend." 
And with the more humane and gentler notions 
which will prevail it is also certain that the 
new age will be an age of cheapness. Of 
course, cheapness is a purely relative matter. 
The suit of clothes which would be very cheap 
at seven oruineas in the United States would 
be very dear at that price here, not merely 
because by reason of the tariff clothes and 
other things are expensive in America, but 
also because waees are higher there than in 
England. In spite of the enormous growth of 
population since, say, the accession of Queen 
Victoria, the standard of comfort is much 
higher now than then, and prices are lower, 
because production has increased more quickly 
than population. Comforts are cheaper, wages 



are higher. But the standard of comfort will 
be higher still a hundred years hence. Work- 
men will earn a greater share of the com- 
modities of life, and whether their pay be 
higher, computed as money, or lower, makes 
no difference to the question of cheapness. 
If washes are low commodities will be low- 
priced : that is all. 

And probably this is the turn that events 
will take, though, even then, the monetary 
earnings of the worker will probably be much 
higher than they are nowadays. It is doubt- 
ful whether so clumsy a contrivance as metallic 
currencies, of intrinsic values corresponding 
with their titles, can survive at all ; but of 
course everything will be computed in terms 
of some currency or other — perhaps of an 
obsolete currency. We are apt to think that 
the steady value of gold can be counted upon 
to remain a constant factor of economics. But 
only a very small part of the real business of 
the world is even now transacted with actual 
gold. Much the greatest part is transacted 
in paper — that is by the simple balancing of 
debits against credits in various clearing- 

Of course, if there were any reason to 
suppose that State Socialism would be the 
political basis of future institutions, currency 
of intrinsic value (which practically means, 
even now, only gold currency) would be easily 


dispensed with, because almost every trans- 
action would be effected by means of orders 
on the national treasury, the State owning 
practically everything. Some visionaries have 
long included the abolition of money in their 
schemes for the immediate economic improve- 
ment of the race. But the disuse of a currency 
is not really a means to any end. It is only 
an effect which may or may not arise out of 
certain alterations in commercial method. 
There are signs that the people are already 
growing tired of the extravagance attached 
to the system of State, and even of municipal, 
trading : and this fact makes socialism improb- 
able. Constant complaints are heard about such 
things as municipal tramways and municipal 
gasworks, and the proposal to transfer the 
entire working of telephones to the Govern- 
ment has been fiercely opposed. Where the 
post-office works telephones side by side with 
a telephone company, as in London, there is 
no indication that the public prefers the 
Government service before the private service ; 
and it is admitted that tramways privately 
owned work more cheaply and yield better 
returns on their capital than municipal tram- 
ways. Any interference of the State in matters 
that could practically be left to private enter- 
prise provokes incessant complaint. When 
continued and developed, however, this inter- 
ference has a vicious habit of extending itself 


into fresh fields. Havino- first undertaken the 
education of the people the State was not 
long in carrying that system to its natural 
limit by relieving parents of school fees. 
Now, free meals for poor children, or meals sold 
below cost, are gradually becoming the fashion ; 
what is the use of reading out lessons to 
children who are too hungry to listen ? So 
the State must feed as well as educate. From 
this to the free clothing of school children is a 
very short step. But once the unavoidable 
sequence of such things is recognised, public 
opinion begins to revolt, asking where, if we 
go on at this rate, we are likely to stop, so 
long as there is any parental duty that the 
State has omitted to assume. We perceive 
that, unless the process is arrested, the 
begfetter of children will have no obli^^ations 
left, and the awful effects of relieving every 
member of the public of all responsibility being 
at length reco^-nised, there is sure to be a 
reaction. It is certainly not beyond the wit 
of man to contrive that it shall be impossible 
for parents to leave their children untaught, 
without Government taking upon itself the 
function of schoolmaster. A hundred years 
hence I hope that it will long have been un- 
necessary to use force at all to compel parents 
to educate their children : and by that time the 
folly of our (perhaps temporarily unavoidable) 
expedients will be laughed at, and the fatuity 


of a minimum standard of proficiency, which 
inevitably becomes the maximum standard 
also, will be wondered at. In the matter 
here selected as the most convenient for illus- 
tration, and in other matters where State powers, 
or powers devolved by the State, are now 
employed in enterprises which do not properly 
fall into the province of Governments, the 
abuses and wastefulness of governmental in- 
terference are already acting as the best 
possible object-lessons against further inter- 
ferences of the kind which makes for socialism. 
But of all the restraining influences inimical 
to socialism, none will be anything like so 
powerful in the present century as the new 
anxiety with which the people will safeguard 
their own self-respect. It must be borne in 
mind, and cannot be too often repeated, that 
before many decades, systems of education will 
be valued chiefly in proportion as they tend 
to develop and establish character in the 
individual. And with the recognition of the 


great truth that character is much the most 
important thing in the world, there will grow 
up a great jealousy of anything which tends to 
damage the public sense of individual responsi- 
bility. This jealousy cannot but be adverse 
to socialism, whose ideal is to relieve the 
individual of all responsibilities and to throw 
them upon committees. 

Not that the value of organisation and 


combination for various objects will at all be 
lost sight of. But we shall perceive that 
voluntary combination is a form of self-govern- 
ment vastly more friendly to the preservation 
of self-respect than legislative action, and also 
a form much less likely to be oppressive. It 
will be seen, for instance, that it is more 
desirable for working men to fix, through 
their trade-unions, the hours of labour in 
various industries, arranging to meet excep- 
tional circumstances where the latter arise, 
than for Parliament to decree that nobody shall 
work more than eight hours a day. Neither 
is the panacea of compulsory arbitration in 
trade disputes likely to be a feature of future 
politics, because we shall certainly not be long 
before we perceive that, while it is no doubt 
quite easy to compel employers and employed 
to submit their respective cases to a tribunal 
appointed by law, there is no known way in 
which the award of such a tribunal can be 
enforced, and if there were, the effect of its 
employment would be almost intolerably 
injurious to the commerce of the country. 
What will happen a hundred years hence is 
that trade disputes will have disappeared, 
because all the workers will be practically their 
own employers. 

Consequently free contract and not socialism 
will be the basis of the political system of a 
hundred years hence, and the standard of 


comfort will be adjusted in the same way as 
everything else. But in order that this 
standard may be as high as the advanced 
humanity of the new age will certainly demand 
for a population vastly increased, it will be 
necessary that all the resources of the planet 
be made the most of. That motive power, 
one of the most important, if not the most 
important of all these resources, should be 
economically produced is, as has already been 
said, an absolute essential. When we make 
the most of the sources of power, and are able 
to apply power in convenient and portable 
ways to all sorts of work at present done by 
hand, one of the greatest economies conceivable 
will have been effected. Probably muscle, as 
an element of workmanship, will become quite 
obsolete, though muscular strength will be 
developed by athletics as a recreation and a 
safeguard to the health of the race. Here ao-ain 
self-respect will be sedulously nurtured, for 
nothing fosters it so much as a man's sense of 
his inherent bodily power. All sorts of waste- 
fully laborious methods of labour will be super- 
seded, in the same way as the steam hammer has 
superseded the sledge hammer. With the per- 
fect development of power-production achieved, 
a great deal of the dirtiness of manufacture will 
vanish : and moreover, a use will have been 
discovered for every by-product of every 
manufacture. We are hideously wasteful as 


yet : and wastefulness makes for dirt. One 
perceives this at once on comparing a factory 
where the by-products are of a nature to be 
utiHsed directly, with one where these products 
are of small value. A goldsmith's shop is a 
clean place compared with the gasworks of 
even a modern town : but these again are 
clean compared with what they used to be be- 
fore the various chemical uses of coal-tar and 
gas-liquor were discovered. 

In the planning of machi'^ery, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that power will be obtained at a 
minimum of expens :, all contrivances which 
economise force will be highly valued. We 
have been increasingly valuing them ever since 
steam first became important as a source of 
motive power. Early machines in the Patents' 
Museum at South Kensino-ton exhibit the most 
extraordinary recklessness in the waste of 
power. Considering the feebleness of the 
motive force available, one would have 
expected that every means would be sought 
to minimise friction. But instead, the force was 
transmitted by contrivances which, to a modern 
eye, seemed deliberately contrived to introduce 
as much friction as possible. Every year 
brings out fresh inventions for the avoidance 
of friction : and still we are but upon the very 
threshold of the subject. It was only in 1904 
that a party of railway engineers was enter- 
tained by a patentee who wished to show them 


the saving in coal per train-mile which can be 
saved by a new bearing for passenger coaches, 
and the superior smoothness (which is of course 
a factor in the economy) of their running. 
Hardly any vehicle except a bicycle or a 
trotting buggy is yet constructed with any 
serious attempt to save friction at the axles. 
The number of industrial machines to which 
ball-bearings might be applied with great 
economy of power is enormous. But ball- 
bearings are very little used. It is probably 
considered as yet that the saving in coal would 
not pay for the working expenses connected 
with them and with other improvements. But 
as machinery is further improved economies 
at present merely theoretical will become 
practical and remunerative. In a hundred 
years' time we shall certainly be able to make 
generally profitable the use of many devices as 
yet applicable only to delicate and exceptional 
machines, and shall be able to use much power 
which at present runs to waste. Every time 
a locomotive is stopped there is a great waste 
of power in the operation of the brakes, be- 
cause it is not worth while to adopt any con- 
trivance for utilising it. It disappears, as heat, 
and is lost. Many similar wastages could be 
cited, and engineers would scoff at the citation, 
on the orround that the loss is not worth 
saving. But it will be worth saving a hundred 
years hence. We shall not be able to afford 


any waste. The world will have to be worked, 
as we say, "for all it is worth." 

Of course all sorts of other wastes will be 
avoided through the natural progress of dis- 
covery and the natural development of thought. 
Illness is a waste. Illness will be much less 
common in a hundred years' time. A man 
who eats and consumes the world's products 
without contributing to them will be too ex- 


pensive a luxury for the new age to indulge 
itself with : and the present excuse for a 
"leisure" class — already scorned in America — 
that a rich and leisured class fosters and patron- 
ises the arts, will be absurd. All classes will 
foster and patronise the arts. For, just as we 
shall see that idleness is waste (and even more 
injurious to the idler than to his fellows), so we 
shall also see that overwork is a waste, because 
the legitimate purpose of human endeavour is 
not wealth, but happiness. When all work, all 
will be able to play. 

Planetary economy will be a determining 
factor in the change of diet which the coming 
century must inevitably witness. Such a waste- 
ful food as animal flesh cannot survive : and 
even apart from the moral necessity which will 
compel mankind, for its own preservation, to 
abandon the use of alcohol, the direct and in- 
direct wastefulness of alcohol will make it im- 
possible for beverages containing it to be 
tolerated. Very likely tobacco will follow it. 

SEWAGE, AD. 2000 215 

We are already in sight of legislation to restrain 
the use of tobacco by the young. It will prob- 
ably be unnecessary for the law to prohibit its 
use by adults. The frugal adult of the new 
age will abandon it unbidden, the change taking 
place as smoothly and silently as the process 
from the universal drunkenness of our great- 
grandfathers to the relative sobriety of our- 
selves, a process of which it is surprising that 
anyone can fail to perceive that the natural end 
must be the total disuse of alcoholic drinks. 
All things work their way to their natural con- 
clusion, and there is no more fertile source of 
sociological blindness than the fallacy which 
treats certain phenomena of society as static, 
whereas all phenomena of society are really in 
the dynamic state, and always must be so. 

In such matters as the exhaustion of the 
soil, and the reckless waste of wood, our present 
practice will certainly be reformed. There will 
be great improvements in agricultural chem- 
istry, necessitated by the disappearance of 
animal manure. The obsolescence of the horse 
is already in sight ; probably we ourselves shall 
see the day when the horse will cease to be 
employed except in the organised material of 
war : and as soon as we cease to eat animals 
we shall cease to herd cattle, sheep and poultry. 
But some means will have to be found for 
returnine to the soil the materials we take out 
of it. Of course the idiotic wastefulness of 


many systems of sewage disposal, and the 
dangers, inconveniences and degrading occupa- 
tions associated with existing alternatives, will 
be rectified. By improved agricultural methods, 
lands at present unutilised will be brought 
under cultivation : and the wasteful and selfish 
reservation of game preserves, deer forests 
and excessive pleasure-grounds will have to be 
abolished — not by legislative enactment, but 
probably by spontaneous social developments ; 
by the natural development, in short, of economy 
in the world's possessions. A hundred years 
hence we shall cease to behave as though the 
resources of the planet were illimitable and 
could be wasted at will. In the succession of 
the ages the spendthrift will have given birth 
to the miser, reversing the usual order of gen- 
erations. No doubt the attention concentrated 
upon agriculture as a consequence of the 
greatly increased use of vegetable and cereal 
foods will have, as one of its consequences, the 
discovery of new means for improving all sorts 
of crops — means of which even the wonderful 
achievements of the scientific agriculture of the 
present day do not contain even the first germs. 
We shall also, perhaps, find means for avoiding 
the terrible losses and wastage entailed by 
climatic accidents. At all events, irrigation 
will be perfected, and probably we shall be able 
by acclimatisation and modification to find uses 
for crops that will flourish during that portion 

SEWAGE, AD. 2000 217 

of the year when, in temperate climates, the 
land at present lies idle. This will both 
stimulate and further necessitate the im- 
provements in agricultural chemistry already 

As the combustions of solids will no longer 
be a general method of obtaining heat, we shall 
greatly economise wood ; and the wickedly 
mischievous word "inexhaustible " will not be 
applied to timber regions like the Rocky Moun- 
tain district of Canada. Arboriculture will 
become a more practical art than it as yet 
shows any signs of being ; and along with care- 
ful afforestation will go skilled improvement 
in tree-growing. We shall replace all the trees 
we use by better trees, better cultivated. Even 
so, however, there will have to be devised great 
economies in the use of wood — economies like 
the recent invention of a method by which, in- 
stead of being wastefully sawn into planks, a 
tree-trunk can be cut up spirally, so that almost 
the whole of it may be used. In many places 
where wood is now employed in the arts, metals 
will doubtless be used instead, their greater 
neatness and durability making it advisable 
thus to substitute them, for reasons of conveni- 
ence as well as economy ; and probably new 
alloys, into which the lighter metals, as alu- 
minium, will enter, may give us increased 
strength without increased weight, which will 
again be an economy, because it will save power. 


But even so, the world's expenditure of wood 
will continue to be enormous. 

War has been alluded to above. War is too 
wasteful, as well as too imbecilely uncivilised, 
to survive this century. It may be well to 
inquire as to the manner in which its abolition 
is most likely to be brought about. We may 
take it for granted that no sudden political or 
revolutionary movement will abolish the physi- 
cal conflict of peoples. "All the arts which 
brutalise the practical polemist " will not be 
abandoned at a moment's notice on the bid- 
ding of any potentate or combination of poten- 
tates. To conceive of them as thus abandoned 
is to overlook the whole nature of political 
change. It is absurd (as Herbert Spencer 
remarks) to assume " that out of a community 
morally imperfect and intellectually imperfect, 
there may in some way be had legislative regu- 
lation that is not proportionately imperfect." 
But it would be equally absurd to believe that 
the moral and intellectual advance which our 
present tendencies show to be gradually tak- 
ing place — an advance certain to be greatly 
accelerated during the middle half of the next 
hundred years — can fail to put a stop to war as 
a political device. 

War will probably not be dispensed with in 
response to any great and sudden revolt of the 
world's conscience ag-ainst the bloodshed and 
other evils much worse than bloodshed which 


it entails — of which indeed it actually consists. 
The world knows quite well already that war 
is wicked, wasteful and silly : if it were 
possible for a suddenly-exasperated realisation 
of this to take an instantaneous effect, we could 
and should similarly abolish numerous other 
evils which we show every disposition to 
tolerate for some time yet. The fact that single 
families are able to hold wealth in enormous 
excess of the maximum amount which it can 
possibly be good for the community that in- 
dividuals should hold, is such an evil. The 
*' Yellow " journalism of America and England 
is another evil just about as difficult, or as easy, 
to abolish at a stroke as war, and not much 
less injurious. The manipulation of tariffs and 
currencies to suit the greedy aims of manu- 
facturers, landowners and capitalists is another 
evil which is constantly experienced or 
threatened in one part of the world or another ; 
and if as a race we were yet enlightened 
enough to utter that great " Peace ; be still ! " 
which must some day be breathed over the 
troubled waters of international diplomacy, we 
should be enlightened enough to rid ourselves 
of these other evils. But instead, the change 
must be gradually worked up to. It is not even 
at all certain that the whole world will at one 
given moment decide to abandon war. It is 
not necessarily the case that the first nation 
enlightened enough to lay down the sword 


would immediately fall under the oppression of 
its armed neighbours, as Bismarck prophesied, 
and would no doubt have practised to arrange. 
Nor need we assume, as so many have thought 
it necessary to believe, that universal peace 
can only follow the exhaustion of universal 
war, the dove winging her first flight over the 
shambles of Armageddon. I do not for an 
instant believe that the actual horrors of war 
are the likely or possible source of peace ; on 
the contrary, war always tends to breed war, 
partly through international exasperation, 
partly through the unashamed and cynical 
self-seeking of professional warriors. Peace 
hath her outrages no less severe than war. It 
is against the preparation for war, rather than 
against war itself, that we shall revolt. 

Of course the increased urbanity of future 
thought, the tenderer conscience of the future, 
will help the cause of peace. The world's 
rulers will be more humane, less reckless than 
those set up by the inferior morality and in- 
tellect of the present age. It is not from the 
rulers, but from the ruled, however, that peace 
will come. It is the peoples that will refuse to 
be the supporters of idle, useless, profligate and 
dangerous millions, trained to no duty but 
slaughter, skilful only in the service of national 
crime. Every decade will see the burden of 
armament grow heavier. I n every decade fresh 
efforts will be made to lift the weight of them 


off the rich, the governing classes, and throw it 
upon the poor, the governed classes. The 
workers will be taxed, and their taxes mani- 
pulated to their disadvantage. And they must 
pay in person as well as purse. There is no 
civilised and highly developed country in the 
world that can possibly escape universal mili- 
tary service within the next quarter of a cen- 
tury, unless it be the United States : and only 
that country if the people of the United States 
abandon absolutely their present dreams of 
empire and renounce the luxury of an effective 
Foreign Office. As for ourselves, it is most 
likely universal naval service that we shall 
have to endure. And the rulers of the nations 
will play the chess of diplomacy, using the 
peoples as their pawns, until the pawns, grown 
wiser than the bishops, and more agile than the 
knights, reach the eighth square of intellect 
and become sovereign in themselves. It is not 
by high diplomacy that war will be abandoned, 
but by the will of the workers. Only a very 
careless and unthoughtful observer of the last 
fifteen years' history can have failed to note the 
steady growth of international solidarity in 
labour questions. The trade societies of 
different nations frequently contribute to each 
other's strike-funds : they constantly com- 
municate and confer, and they do so with 
increasing frequency and effectiveness every 
time there is any special advantage to be seen 


in joint action against the common enemy — 
greed. Conceive for an instant what is going 
to be the effect of this when working men and 
women, infinitely the most important and most 
worthy part of the race, are no longer degraded 
by stupid restrictions of education, no longer 
brought up on the insane system of striving 
only for a stuffed memory instead of for a de- 
veloped character, and have learned to think 
about their political duties instead of only trans- 
acting them without thought, without any 
possible opportunity of learning how to think. 
The whole mass of workers throughout the 
world will come to an understanding. They 
have no possible conflicting interests which can 
compare in importance with the interests which, 
for their class, are identical all the world over. 
Already the improved morality of the peoples 
will have yielded improved governments, more 
enlightened parliaments, wiser statesmanship. 
The administrative organ will only need to be 
properly stimulated by the solid agreement of 
workers throughout civilisation. There is never 
the least sign of international or racial jealousy 
among working men in their international 
relations, and what, by reason of the clash of 
international interests and the danger of 
national aggression diplomatists could not 
accomplish, the irresistible volition of the un- 
animous peoples will force upon the cabinets of 
the world. It will come about by degrees. 


The preparations for it will be long visible, long 
misunderstood. And we shall usefully tinker 
at the question, often stave off little dangers of 
war by arbitrations, treaties of mutual under- 
standing, peace conferences and the like ; and 
though probably no great war necessary to re- 
concile the conflicting destinies of peoples was 
ever prevented by such means, we shall avoid 
many fights which might have arisen out of the 
vain notions of prestige, dignity, and national 
self-sufficiency. But once means have been 
found for the destruction of the machinery of 
war, the worst danger of war will have been got 
rid of : and then the practice we shall have had 
in settling disputes peacefully will be of the 
greatest service to us. 

When the armies and the navies of the world 
are disbanded there will be a condition of 
affairs which it is highly necessary to consider. 
In all nations entitled to rank as world-powers 
there is an enormous military class. When the 
armies go home for the last time, and magazine 
rifles and machine guns become museum 
objects and nothing more ; when it is no longer 
conceived to be the greatest service a man can 
render to his country to organise clubs wherein 
men may inexpensively learn how to shoot, so 
as to be able to kill each other with a credit- 
able precision when the chance comes ; then 
there will arise the problem of how to employ 
these disbanded drones : and to some this 


problem has appeared to present acute diffi- 
culties on account of the labour-problem in- 

But to apprehend anything beyond the most 
transient embarrassments from this cause is 
surely to misconceive the whole subject of 
economics. The men at present withdrawn 
from productive labour by employment, either 
transiently (as in countries where conscription 
is used), or more or less permanently (as in 
England), have to be fed, clothed and housed 
in any event ; and they can only be thus sup- 
plied with the commodities of life by the labour 
of other men. What the term of their military 
service happens to be is immaterial to the 
subject. Whether there are standing armies 
and navies with long or short service, and a 
reserve ; or armies and navies served for three 
years by successive drafts ; the amount of 
labour withdrawn in any community is at any 
one period the same in that community. The 
return to civil life of the volunteer armies 
employed in the United States during the 
Civil War and the war of the deliverance of 
Cuba did not produce troublesome economic 
conditions ; and only those persons who think 
that a society is enriched by the circulation of 
money spent in wasteful expenditure like the 
fireworks and banquets consumed in celebrat- 
ing an event like the visit of a foreign potentate, 
or commemorating more or less irrelevantly the 


failure of " Gunpowder treason and plot," can 
imagine that a nation would be impoverished 
by the vast accession to its productive power 
yielded by the abolition of armaments. 
Similarly, to think that the suppression of 
Woolwich arsenal and the closing of Krupp's 
gun factory would be an industrial calamity 
instead of an enormous saving of national 
money, is to adopt the uninstructed view of 
politics which conceives of governments as 
self-supported and self-created institutions 
whose expenditure is a gift to the people ; 
instead of as being organisations paid by the 
people out of earnings which would otherwise 
be enjoyed by themselves. This sort of con- 
ception, fatuous as it appears when once 
reduced to logical terms, is common enough. 
Whenever any object of popular desire appears 
inaccessible we are always being told that the 
Government ought to provide it — as if Govern- 
ment were a sort of deity capable of producing 
wealth from somewhere outside the world. 
But such notions have only to be for a moment 
examined in order that their fallacy may 
become manifest and palpable ; and it is 
equally easy to see that the wealth-producing 
power of the men composing armies would be a 
direct gift to the community of the world if 
armies were abolished, and that the moneys 
formerly, but no longer, expended upon their 
accoutrements, weapons and sustenance would 


be so much waste obviated. Here will, in fact, 
be one of the many economies of a hundred 
years hence. 

It will be convenient to digress, in passing", 
in order to notice one very curious contention 
sometimes rather fancifully introduced into 
discussions on the subject of universal peace. 

It is stated that war is an inevitable feature 
of national life, and that it exercises a beneficent 
effect upon national character — that it fosters 
manliness and a respect for the virile attributes 
of courage, steadfastness and self-respect ; that 
nations which have abandoned the art of war 
sink into effeminacy, slothfulness and destruc- 
tive luxury ; and that the peace of the nations, 
if it ever comes, will be associated with a 
terrible deterioration of the race. As to the 
notion that anything can prevent the abolition 
of armed conflict as a means of settling the 
differences of peoples, we may very well be 
satisfied to await the issue. No one who 
recognises the steady growth of humanitarian 
feeling ; no one who remembers, even to 
deplore, our growing sentimentalism ; no one 
who has insight enough to perceive that 
progress, at an ever-increasing speed, must 
inevitably be accompanied by advanced in- 
tellectuality, increased self-restraint and greater 
wisdom, can doubt that a process so illogical, 
barbarous and brutalising as battle must be 
banished, as well by the new humanity as by 


the economic necessities of our race. But the 
notion of deploring, on moral grounds, the 
assured coming of a reform so salutary, calls 
for more strenuous reprobation. One would 
have thought it evident, from the popular 
effect of the war in South Africa, that, so far 
from being a matter for self-congratulation, 
this highly necessary war was a terrible lesson 
in the brutalising effect of armed conflict, not 
alone on the men actually engaged, but also on 
the people who remained at home. Indeed, 
since it is only a comparatively small fraction 
of a community that can ever be personally 
active in military operations, the effect on the 
home-stayers is evidently what the upholders 
of war as a civilising influence must be thinking 
of. It would be ridiculous, and it is quite un- 
necessary to the argument, to deny the fine 
qualities of determination, of fortitude before 
national disaster, and of calm confidence in the 
prowess of the nation's arms which, in the 
bulk of the English people, the Transvaal war 
called forth. It would be just as idle to 
deny the sublime exhibition of patriotism and 
self-abnegation which, on one side at least, 
was provoked by the Russo-Japanese war. 
But it would also be foolish not to recognise 
the quite evident brutalisation which has 
followed our war in South Africa, the remark- 
able increase in crimes of murderous violence, 
and especially of double crimes — murder and 


suicide — which has lately occurred. The true 
source of these increased evils is the reflex 
effect of familiarity (either at first hand, or more 
remotely through newspaper reading and 
through the personal narrative of returned 
soldiers) with the notion of violent slaying, and 
the diminished sense of the sanctity of human 
life which accompanies the spectacle of man- 
slaying by wholesale held up to popular 
admiration, and indeed necessitated and 
justified by the conditions of war and the duty 
of patriotism. No doubt it is true (as has 
been finely said) that there is one thing which 
is worse for a nation than war, and that is 
that a nation should be so afraid of war as to 
submit to aofofression rather than fifjht in defence 
of its rights. But to subscribe to this doctrine, 
which no rational thinker will dispute, is a very 
different thing from agreeing that the nations 
would be otherwise than strengthened and 
civilised by the universal abandonment of 
battle. Probably we are as yet some decades 
from the time when we shall have sufficient 
nobility of sentiment to be entirely agreed, 
without a single dissentient, in recognising the 
enormous service to national and international 
morality which Mr Gladstone rendered when 
he had the courage to withdraw from the 
conflict with the Boers after Majuba. It will 
be long before we are logical enough to see 
that the fact of this magnanimity having been 


basely abused does not in the least detract from 
its moral weight and moral beneficence. But 
the influence of such an act cannot be without 
effect upon progress. It is by such acts, and 
the possibility of their glad acceptance by 
nations of sufficient moral elevation to perform 
them, that war will be banished. 

In the meantime, while noble virtues can be 
displayed by nations in time of combat, and by 
civilians as well as soldiers, it is a new doctrine 
that we are asked to accept when we are told 
that there is anything individually elevating to 
the character in sitting at home while someone 
else goes out and fights for that home's 
protection. One of the least satisfactory 
features of public interest in games of manly 
endeavour and endurance, games of danger 
and violent effort, like football and cricket, is 
that of the very greatly increased numbers who 
"follow" these games and watch the fortunes 
of selected teams in the Cup contests only a 
very small proportion play the games them- 
selves. Thousands of young men hardly see a 
football match from September to April, 
though they keenly follow the admirable 
descriptions of them in their sporting papers. 
It is taking a very short-sighted view to 
applaud the growing interest in athletics, 
which, just now, we show, as a sign of our 
manliness. Not very much endurance is 
required in order to bet on the success of 


a favourite team : and to assist, as a con- 
tributor to gate-moneys, in paying selected 
athletes to endure risk and violent fatigue in a 
game which one does not play for oneself is 
exactly on a level with applauding the exploits 
of an army to which one contributes nothing 
but taxes. 

Moreover, this beneficent effect of actual 
war-in-progress could only exercise itself dur- 
ing limited and distressful periods. No nation 
is able to be seriously at war, in modern con- 
ditions, for very long, and great periods of 
recuperation must intervene between war and 
war ; the combatant nations being meanwhile 
subject to aggressions from keepers of the 
peace, because they are not in a position to 
fiorht aofain with a fresh and an unexhausted 
adversary. Consequently, any beneficent 
effect must be expected to be exercised chiefly 
in time of peace. And, in practice, it does not 
seem to be the case that nations in which the 
military standard is high and the military 
class is exalted above the civil class, show 
always in any remarkable manner the virtues 
supposed to be fostered by the manly art of 
war. No one would contend that the average 
German is more self-reliant and self-respecting, 
quicker to decide on action in a moment of 
stress, braver, manlier, more enduring of re- 
verses of fortune, than the average American. 
Yet Germany, where military officers are held 


in such esteem that they can behave with 
unrestrained arrogance and brutality towards 
civilians in public places without provoking 
any signs of popular indignation, unless when 
their acts are commented upon in the socialist 
newspapers; and can even inflict disgusting and 
degrading indignities upon private soldiers 
without being officially punished, except where 
they have carried brutality to the limit (and 
they are punished with the greatest tenderness 
even then) : Germany, I say, ought to show 
the virtues of a military state at their best. 
Whereas in America, where there is practically 
no standing army, and where military titles, 
the residue of wars conducted almost entirely 
by volunteer and amateur soldiers, are so 
common that the very holders of them treat 
these titles as subjects of humorous deprecia- 
tion, the people are conspicuous for manliness, 
for high endurance, for patience under the re- 
verses of fortune, for temperance : and in the 
average of physical courage America far excels 
any military nation. There seems to be no 
reason at all for apprehending that the obsoles- 
cence of militarism will have a deleterious effect 
on the manhood of the race : while there are in- 
contestable evidences that it will greatly foster 
the equally important virtues of gentleness, 
humanity, and respect for the weak. Thus, 
while, for reasons of sentiment and common 
sense, war is certain to become obsolete before 


the end of this century, we shall find in the 
release of the funds and of the labour hitherto 
employed in the organisation of war one of the 
greatest economies of an age which in all things 
will be thrifty : and there is no reason at all to 
apprehend difficulty in providing for the warrior 
who finds his occupation gone, when we have 
so reorganised (as we must reorganise) our 
social system, that no man will live in ex- 
cessive luxury on the labour of his fellows, but 
that all will be contributors to a common 



Using the figurative words, " the law," in 
their widest possible sense, to mean the entire 
system which governs the relations of the 
individuals in a community with each other 
and with the community at large, we can easily 
see that in a century's time many changes of 
law will have taken place. If it be true that 
legislative restraints are mostly necessitated by 
the ill-conceived energies of mankind, and that 
the right function of the law is to assure to 
each citizen the largest possible liberty that is 
consistent with the equal liberty of every other 
citizen and of all, then it will be right to believe 
that the great extension of general intelligence, 
and the equally great extension of general 
morality, anticipated for the next century, will 
render many forms ofexisting restraint obsolete 
because unnecessary. Regarding offences both 
against the person and against property as 
manifestations, for the most part, of unintelli- 
gence, we may expect that increased intelli- 
gence will lead to a diminution of their number. 



In applying statistics to an examination of the 
question whether and to what extent improve- 
ments in the general standard of education 
have in the past diminished crime, and conse- 
quently how far crime is likely to be still further 
diminished in the future, we must be careful to 
keep in sight two considerations — first, that an 
increased vigilance and elaboration on the part 
of authority may easily make it appear that 
crime has failed to diminish under educational 
influences, when it is only the detection and 
punishment of crime that have been rendered 
more perfect ; and second, that if one kind of 
education have not had all the salutary effects 
expected of it, it does not follow that a different 
kind will not have all this expected efficacy and 
more. Manifestly, legislation against crimes 
formerly outside the reach of the law — that 
creation of "new offences" which one hears 
rather foolishly objected to — will increase 
statistics of crime, if we compute crime in terms 
of prison-admissions ; and the fact that such 
increase, due entirely to legislation, has taken 
place concurrently with some other reform, 
such as the improvement of education, 
obviously does not entitle us to connect the 
increase with the reform. The latter may 
even be operating in exactly the opposite 
manner, despite the statistics. A number of 
new offences were created, for instance, by 
what is called in England the Criminal Law 


Amendment Act, and it would be easy for a 
shocked observer of prison statistics to observe, 
in a period of years during which the administra- 
tion of that useful act was being perfected, 
dreadful increases in the crimes which it 
represses ; whereas the fact probably is that 
crime of this sort has diminished, largely 
through the action of the very causes which 
would make it appear to have been increasing. 
Therefore, if anyone still argues that education 
as a means of diminishing crime has proved a 
failure, it is not upon judicial statistics that he 
must base his contentions. Probably that argu- 
ment is obsolete : but if it were not, and if it 
were allowed all the validity of which it is 
capable, it would still furnish no ground what- 
ever from which to throw doubt upon the 
expectation that in a hundred years' time crime 
will have diminished very greatly, as a result 
of the improved education of the new era. 
For indeed, as education is at present con- 
ducted, it would be rather a remarkable thing 
that it should have any effect upon criminality 
at all. What influence increased intelligence 
may have in restraining one part of the popula- 
tion from the desire to commit crime might 
easily be neutralised by the effect, on another 
portion, of the increased craft and subtlety 
imparted by education. Knowledge can 
facilitate crime as well as deter from it. A 
man who has not learned to write, it has been 


shrewdly remarked, will not commit forgery : 
but that is not a reason for thinking that a 
knowledge of writing tends to promote crimi- 
nality. The man who, being (perhaps unduly) 
proficient in it, becomes a forger, would not 
necessarily have remained blameless if he had 
continued illiterate. He would very probably 
have been a thief, which does not require pen- 
manship : but on the other hand, the increased 
facility of obtaining employment when one can 
write might just as easily have saved him from 
some temptations to dishonesty. It is not very 
rational to expect a great moral effect upon 
character from the mere acquisition of 
knowledge. But from the moment we con- 
ceive that means and methods of education in 
the future will be valued in proportion to their 
influence in developing character, and especi- 
ally intelligent self-control, it is impossible to 
doubt that the new teaching will be among the 
most potent of moral influences. One benefit 
derived from this will be the possibility of 
abandoning legislative restrictions whose effect 
is inimical to self-control and to intelligent 
self-protection. It will no longer be necessary 
to protect the people by law from the conse- 
quences of their own foolishness, and we shall 
have learned that it is much better for the 
public to be encouraged to safeguard its own 
interests than to be relieved of the necessity 
to do so. 


Anticipating, therefore, that many existing 
forms of restraint will have become obsolete 
because unnecessary, we may very fairly ask 
ourselves whether, in an improved moral and 
intellectual atmosphere, it will not have been 
found advisable to abolish other restraints and 
requisitions as a directly remedial measure. 
The suggestion may, at the moment, appear 
chimerical, but so must every intelligent antici- 
pation of a coming time appear to anyone who 
approaches the subject without allowing for the 
difference of conditions, and conceives of 
changes which will take place so gradually as 
to be almost unperceived, as if they were to 
occur per salhtm, without any process of slow 
moral preparation. So would nearly every 
social condition of the present age have ap- 
peared individually to a citizen of the world 
of 1800, if, possessing intelligence to foresee 
it, he lacked the imagination necessary to 
foresee the accompanying and subservient con- 
ditions. That public opinion should be so 
shocked by the execution of capital punishment, 
that only the most atrocious murders are thus 
punished — the sentence, where there is any 
real extenuation at all, being habitually com- 
muted nowadays — is a condition which would 
hardly have suggested itself even to the most 
alert imasfinations in an ac^e where small thefts 
were constantly punished by death. Our sense 
of what may be called the accidental influences 


of punitive measures is even yet so little de- 
veloped that only a small minority of the 
public at the present day is able to perceive 
that the deterrent effect of flogging, as a 
punishment for violent robbery, is dearly pur- 
chased at the expense of the brutalising relish 
with which sentences of flogging are welcomed 
by the public, and even on the judicial bench, 
where expressions of regret that the same 
penalty cannot be inflicted for other crimes are 
still common. Yet it would seem obvious 
enough that the sanction given to acts of 
violence by the deliberate adoption of hanging 
and flogging by the law, which is supposed to 
be the exemplar of public morality, must tend 
nearly as much to perpetuate crimes of violence 
as fear of these chastisements to deter. In 
attempting to foresee the spirit of legislation in 
the future it is absolutely necessary to foresee 
concurrently the spirit of the communities by 
which the legislation will be adopted. Antici- 
pating, as we cannot fail to anticipate, a 
sedulous care for moral effects in education, we 
must anticipate an equal care in legislation. It 
would be unworthy of the supremely logical 
age which assuredly is coming, to use all 
possible measures in the schoolroom to foster 
in childhood self-reliance and intelligent self- 
protection, while continuing by "grand- 
motherly" government of the people to remove 
as often as possible any need for self-reliance 


in the adult. The advantages attending little 
bits of protective law-making often blind us to 
their ill-effects. It is no doubt very useful to 
provide, as we do provide, that condensed milk, 
when deprived of its full proportion of cream, 
shall only be sold in packages notifying that 
deprivation. If we did not do this children 
would be starved by their parents' ignorance. 
But the necessity for this enactment is at least 
in part created by the existence of a host of 
similar laws, the aggregate effect of which is to 
give a general impression that anything sold as 
food is good and useful unless it bears some 
warning to the contrary ; and meantime every 
evasion of commercial morality which does not 
come under legislative restraint is naturally 
held to be perfectly justifiable — not at all a 
good thing for commercial morality. Now it 
would be a highly perilous measure to abolish, 
at a stroke, all protective legislation against 
adulterated or impoverished foods. We have 
built up a social condition in which every man 
thinks himself entitled to be protected against 
such frauds. But in a community which has 
been taught to take care of itself, and protect 
itself against frauds by its own intelligence, 
such protections would be retrograde and in- 
jurious. The aim of legislatures in the next 
century will be to foster all kinds of self- 
reliance. They will perceive that even the 
high importance of a reform which can be more 


or less easily enforced by law does not com- 
pensate for the bad effect of thus enforcing it, 
if it could be maintained by the spontaneous 
vigilance of a wisely-nurtured public ; and the 
degrading effect of superfluous law will be 
more dreaded than the temporary dangers 
against which the law might protect the 

Nevertheless, it is inevitable that, during a 
period more or less extended, material progress 
will be accompanied by numerous legal enact- 
ments such as a perfect state would dispense 
with, and possibly the end of all of them will 
not have been reached even in a century's 
time. How invention tends to promote legisla- 
tion has recently been noticeable in the new 
laws affectinor automobile traffic on roads. In 
a perfect state it would doubtless be unnecessary 
to provide legal machinery to compel the 
owners of powerful and rapid vehicles to re- 
spect the rights of their fellow-citizens and to 
abstain from running away without identifying 
themselves when they had caused an accident. 
In proportion as the moral condition of the 
next century approximates to perfection, such 
ordinances as the motor-car laws will be un- 
necessary. But for a long time new laws will 
always be coming into necessity as a result 
of new inventions. For instance, when, as 
was suggested in an earlier chapter, business 
is carried on largely through the medium 


of recording telephones, wirelessly actuated, 
special laws will have to be devised to protect 
trade against the various kinds of fraud which 
this method of transaction would otherwise 
facilitate, and some methods will have to be 
devised for giving legal force to arrangements 
made by telephony, akin to the methods which 
now give legal force to written contracts. 
Similarly, various by-laws will have to be 
enacted to protect the public against the 
accidents incidental to the various methods of 
rapid transit that will have come into use. 
Probably it will no longer be necessary, and it 
will have been perceived to be injurious, to 
protect travellers against their own rashness. 

It is a well-known phenomenon that periods 
of material prosperity and high wages are 
fruitful in crime. Probably increased con- 
sumption of alcohol in prosperous times is the 
sole cause of this. There can be no direct 
connection between wealth and criminality ; 
the bulk of the criminal population is, on the 
contrary, poor. It would be idle to speculate 
as to whether the next century will or will not 
continue to legislate against intoxicants, because 
it is morally certain that intoxicants will have 
been legislated out of existence already, with- 
out waiting for the period when it would no 
longer be necessary to abolish them forcibly. 
For at present, and in the more immediate 
future, there is no ground whatever for antici- 


pating that the legislative hand will be with- 
held wherever law-making appears the simplest 
and most obvious method of getting rid of any 
crying evil : and there can be no doubt that 
the abuse of alcohol is an evil of precisely the 
sort that legislature will be active in suppressing. 
Some changes in the method of government 
will have to take place before Parliament can 
legislate against alcohol : but that it will so 
legislate before the middle of this century is 
morally certain. In what country the alcohol 
law is first likely to be passed is immaterial. 
Every country which adopts it will thereby 
assist in forcing the same measure upon other 
countries, because, with international travel 
constantly becoming cheaper and more easy, 
it is certain that numerous people who object 
to being deprived of stimulants and intoxicants 
in one country will migrate to others where 
their appetite can have full play, and will 
intensify the drink problem in those countries 
until these, too, are forced, or will think them- 
selves forced, to legislate in self-protection. 
Thus such laws will become universal. No 
doubt this condition will be reached gradually, 
measures of restriction preceding measures 
of prohibition. But the end will be the 
same, and it will be forced upon the world as 
much by the increased evils inflicted by 
alcohol on nerves increasingly susceptible to 
its influence, as by any other consideration. 


Anyone who has taken the trouble to observe 
the nervous and physical condition of men and 
women in the average, during even so short a 
period as the last quarter of a century, must 
have been impressed by the marked increase 
of neurotic states, not merely in exceptional 
individuals, but in all the people. The neurotic 
temperament is much more adversely affected 
by alcohol than any other ; and we are all 
growing more neurotic. All the conditions 
of modern life tend that way : and it is not 
alcohol alone that will have to go, but all 
sorts of habit-inducing drugs, such as morphine, 
cocaine, and the rest, all of which, like alcohol 
itself, will soon be so restricted in regard 
to their sale that their abuse will be rendered 
practically impossible, and their use restricted 
to a purely medical employment. It is even 
quite possible, and I have already ventured 
to predict,' that when the progress of neurotism 
has worked itself out, even such mild exhilar- 
ants as tea and coffee will have to be made the 
subjects of legal restriction. There exist many 
individuals at the present moment upon whom 
coffee acts as a stimulant nearly as powerful 
as alcohol, moderately employed, upon the 
rest of us — that is to say, they experience the 
same mild exhilaration after a cup of strong 
coffee as a moderate man does after a glass 
of burgundy or a whisky-and-soda. These 
' Antey Chapter II. 


effects are no more injurious, at present, than 
those of a moderate use of wine or spirits : but 
they can become perilous, and may develop in 
all sorts of ways, when the nervous organisa- 
tion becomes more delicate. Thus, the abolition 
of alcoholic beverages, at present the fad of a 
minority not always very respectable in the 
methods of its propaganda, will presently be 
an indispensable feature of social progress. 

Unless all criminolocrists are wrongs in their 
deductions, something like fifty per cent, of all 
crime will be got rid of when alcohol no longer 
exists to cause crime. There are further 
ameliorative influences certain to be at work 
which will tend to reduce the sorts of crime 
chiefly troublesome at present. Adopting the 
familiar division of crime into (a) offences 
against the person and (d) offences against 
property, it is very easy to see that what may 
be called private crime (as distinguished from 
crime against the body politic) will diminish 
automatically. When the extremes of wealth 
and poverty have become as much less marked 
as I have endeavoured to show that they must 
become, it is evident that the temptation to 
offences of greed will be greatly diminished. 
A large proportion of all these crimes arises 
out of poverty alone, or out of poverty coupled 
with stupidity. A man who has not enough 
intelligence to earn is very likely to steal in 
order to provide for himself; and one who is 


equipped by the knowledge of a trade is 
consequently not so liable to be dishonest as 
one who is less hopefully situated. He is also 
likely to be more intelligent, and consequently 
better qualified to perceive that the balance of 
comfort is on the side of the honest worker and 
not on the side of the burglar or thief. Any- 
one who has had occasion to observe the 
proceedings of criminal courts must have 
noticed the frequency with which the descrip- 
tion "labourer" is adopted by the offenders 
charged. "Labourer" means an unskilled 
worker — a man who has learned no trade, and 
brinors nothingr to his work but thews and 
sinews. It is much less common to find a 
trade claimed : one rarely sees a thief or 
burglar described on the charge sheet as 
**John Doe, carpenter," or "Richard Roe, 
gas-fitter." They do not even profess to 
have a trade. Of course where a man's 
business is such as to lend itself to criminal 
pursuits, the case is different : one finds bank- 
note forgers described as "engravers" and 
"lithographers," and makers of counterfeit 
money as "die sinkers." But in the average 
of crime — at least crime of the more stupid 
sorts — it is the tradeless man who is nearly 
always charged. It is impossible to resist the 
inference that poverty is a determining cause 
in most crimes of greed. In a hundred years* 
time the spread of technical education will 


have thinned the ranks of the unskilled. At 
the same time the inducements to honesty and 
steady industry will have been enormously in- 
creased through the universality of the profit- 
sharing system ; and the position of the steady 
worker will have become so greatly more 
attractive than that of the casual thief, that 
only the utmost stupidity can tempt anyone 
to the latter's course of life. Self-respecting 
labour for a share in the profits of labour, 
instead of mechanical toil for wages that do 
not bear any relation to profits nor to any- 
thing else except the fluctuations of the labour- 
market, will so elevate the average of in- 
dustrial character that it will be rare for 
workmen to drift into crime. At the same 
time, and similarly, the restraint placed upon 
undue accumulation of wealth will diminish 
temptation to crimes of greed at the other 
extremity of social life. It will no longer 
be worth anyone's while to organise colossal 
schemes of dishonest company - promoting. 
Thus, crimes against property are certain to 
become relatively infrequent, because the 
greatest temptations to them will have been 

Apart from the largely preponderating 
number of cases in which offences against the 
person — assaults and the like — arise now out 
of intoxication, the tendency to crimes of 
violence will also diminish as the temper of 


society grows milder. An age so much 
advanced in sentimentality as to revolt against 
the cruelty of breeding horses for traction and 
cattle for food is not likely to be fruitful in 
offences of violence. These offences, where 
associated neither with drink nor robbery, prob- 
ably arise more often from jealousy between 
the sexes than anything else. It is unfortun- 
ately impossible to suggest that sexual jealousy 
can be wholly eliminated from human nature. 
But no doubt its violent exhibition will have 
been educated out of us to a larg-e measure. 
Other personal offences, as rape, criminal 
assault and various criminal vices will doubtless 
diminish in frequency as a consequence of 
general moral improvement. In short, the 
work of the policeman will be greatly eased in 
the course of this century, and no doubt many 
functions at present relegated to the police, 
such as the direction of street traffic, the care 
of vagrant dogs, and the like, will be performed 
by officials of a different character. Even 
these duties will be far less onerous than they 
now are, when we have become intelligent 
enough to see that the best way for every man 
to secure his own freedom and comfort is to re- 
spect the freedom and the rights of others. 

It remains an open question whether at some 
time during this century it may not be tempor- 
arily needful for the State to undertake the 
restraint of offences against the intellect, such 


as the publication of false or grossly exagger- 
ated news, and of matter calculated to encourage 
vice, as betting. No doubt the balance of 
advantage is in favour of the entire freedom of 
the Press ; but it cannot be denied that this 
freedom is at present greatly abused. It would 
be easy to name a dozen types of periodicals 
whose forcible suppression would be an 
enormous gain to the public ; and in an age so 
increasingly prone to look to the governing 
body for assistance in every conceivable matter 
no one can deny the probability of some legis- 
lative steps being taken, when the public first 
begins to concern itself seriously with public 
morals. But this possibility is much nearer at 
hand than the end of this century ; at the latter 
period public opinion will probably be well 
able to take care of itself, and any laws of the 
kind I have suggested will, like numerous 
other forms of legislation, including many now 
operative, have fallen into desuetude because 
there will be no temptation to the misde- 
meanours they are, or may be, framed to 

The question of the form which the repres- 
sion of crime will take a hundred years hence 
can only be answered if we first endeavour to 
see what the developments of penology, or the 
science of punishment, are likely to be during 
the next hundred years. Naturally, they will 
have the same tendencies as the societv which 


produces them. We may safely anticipate that 
the more savage punishments, as death, flog- 
ging and painful labour will be eliminated, 
together with all punishments that are not 
believed to be reformatory in their character. 
And even the relatively mild penalty of long 
imprisonment may to the gentler mind of a 
new age appear unduly vindictive. 

Punishment will be regarded as a diminish- 
ingly necessary evil ; and our " object all 
sublime " will not be to make it fit the par- 
ticular crime for which it is awarded, but to 
make it diminish crime as a whole. Punition 
as a moral force will be judged according to its 
effect in two different directions, namely, its 
force as a means of reforming the convicted 
individual by preventing his relapse into crime, 
and its force as a means of deterring other 
persons from committing the same crimes at 
all ; and of these two the second will be con- 
sidered greatly the more important in an age 
that will be logical as well as mild ; because it 
is obviously a greater object to produce an 
effect upon the minds of a possibly great 
number than to produce it upon the mind of 
one culprit. Consequently, although a bene- 
volent solicitude for the reformation of the 
detected offender will not be excluded from the 
consideration of future penologists, the deter- 
ring from crime of the tempted classes will be 
much more demanded. As to this, it cannot 


be questioned that improvements in detection 
and in legal procedure (eliminating the chances 
of escape for the guilty without endangering 
the freedom of the innocent) are capable of 
accomplishing a great deal more than could 
possibly be looked for from any alteration in 
the nature of the punishment used. Experience 
shows that hitherto a ferocious punishment not 
very certainly applied does not deter anything 
like so much as comparatively mild punishment 
with very little chance of escape. Coining, for 
instance, is less common now than when coiners 
were slowly pressed to death under weights, if 
detected ; and the diminution of this crime has 
not been due to fear of the punishment now 
long abandoned ; neither was that penalty re- 
moved from our system of criminal law because 
it had done its work and stamped out counter- 
feiting. On the contrary, improvements in the 
minting of real money, by rendering the detec- 
tion of counterfeits easy, may be said to have 
almost eliminated the offence in question, and 
this result is all the more remarkable when we 
remember that, owing to the appreciation of 
gold, real silver shillings, half-crowns and other 
pieces just as good in assay as the royal 
mintage could be coined by counterfeiters at a 
handsome profit. 

Our very proper anxiety to avoid every 
possible chance of committing and punishing 
the innocent doubtless enables many guilty 


persons to escape every year ; and probably 
quite half the prisoners acquitted at every 
assize are really guilty in some degree. The 
jurisprudence of a hundred years hence will 
certainly have been so much improved that 
innocent persons will rarely be accused at all, 
and that guilty ones will not be able to escape 
on technical grounds : and with improved 
detective methods the chances of escape in any 
given case will be greatly diminished. What 
punishments are inflicted will be of a re- 
formatory character, and no doubt provisional 
release, freed from the many crying scandals of 
the ticket-of-leave system, will play a great 
part in scientific penology. Recidivism will, of 
course, be the subject of much sharper punish- 
ment. In the meantime, the study of mental 
science in its relation to crime will have made 
great strides, and if the views of our own age 
in regard to heredity should be maintained, a 
very great source of crime will probably be got 
rid of altogether, because men and women with 
just that mental twist which leads to crime will, 
by one device or another, be absolutely pre- 
vented from propagating their race.' 

^ Against some methods of securing this object no doubt 
the unintelligent sentimentality of the present time would 
rebel ; but if any inconsistency be detected in my suggestion 
that the next century, which is expected to be even milder 
than this, will accept them, it only needs to be replied that 
the gentleness of our descendants will be a reasonable and 
ordered gentleness, not a mere effect of morbid sentiment- 


It is impossible to work out here the various 
methods of individual reform applicable to 
convicts of various sorts, because the nature of 
these methods must necessarily depend, to a 
great extent, upon the conditions of a society 
of which only the most salient and extreme 
peculiarities can be foreseen even by the most 
imaginative. But all evidence seems to 
suggest that actual crime will have become 
much diminished in amount, while the necessity 
for dealing with what may be called technical 
crimes — misdemeanours, and offences against 
regulations made for the convenience of society 
rather than for the defence of life and morals — 
will probably have been reduced to a minimum, 
partly by the intelligence of the population, and 
partly through the fact that the minor offences 
will have ceased to be dealt with by law, and 
will be sufficiently repressed by natural causes. 
Not only, therefore, will the amount of 
necessary restraint become less, through the 
diminution of crime and of temptation to crime, 
but the employment of legal restraint will be 
less demanded, the latter being recognised as, 
when avoidable, dangerous to public morals. 

ality. They will not hesitate before an apparent and 
temporary cruelty which is capable of preventing much 
greater suffering in a much greater number of persons. 
The crime of permitting children to be born with brains 
abnormally predisposed to evil of any sort will more greatly 
revolt an intelligent age than any conceivable measure 
adopted for its prevention. 


And, while criminal law will be less active, civil 
litigation will also probably be much less heavy. 
The same causes which will tend to make 
us more careful to avoid committing offences 
against the common right of others, will make 
us more scrupulous to perform contracts. And 
as a consequence of the improved morality 
which there seems every reason to anticipate, 
a hundred years hence, it will no doubt have 
become possible to execute a reform which 
many thinkers have desiderated as an element 
of perfected polity. It is hardly necessary 
here to recapitulate the arguments in favour of 
the contention that the cost of civil suits 
should be borne, as the cost of criminal prose- 
cutions is always supposed to be borne, by the 
State. That the man who brings successfully 
an action at law, or successfully defends one, 
should be able to do so only at an expense to 
himself, is against public policy : and there are 
even now numerous cases every year in which 
even the unsuccessful party in a lawsuit is 
really doing the public a service. In a perfect 
state of public morality he would always be 
doing so : and in a hundred years' time he will 
certainly be more often worthy of public thanks 
than he is now — he will be less often seeking 
to impose or defend a wrong. As matters 
stand, it is notorious that the grant of costs 
following the judgment in a civil suit is only a 
partial relief to the successful suitor. He has 


to pay his solicitor more than his solicitor can 
obtain leave from the taxing master to collect 
from the other side ; while if (as not infre- 
quently happens) the other side cannot pay, 
the costs awarded by the Court have to be 
borne by the winner of the suit. It is a 
frequent reply of dishonest defendants, when 
threatened with legal proceedings, that they 
" will meet the plaintiff in the Bankruptcy 
Court." On the other hand, a man will often 
submit to oppression rather than be subjected 
to the expense of even a successful defence. 
Every litigant who maintains his right, whether 
as plaintiff or defendant, renders very much 
the same service to the public which we often 
hear applauded on the part of persons who 
" come forward to prosecute " in criminal or 
misdemeanour cases. He is assisting to make 
probity profitable and evasion dangerous ; in 
other words, he is subserving public morality 
and helping to repress dishonesty. It would 
be much to the public advantage that his costs 
should be borne by the public purse, and borne 
generously, every expense legitimately incurred 
being allowed him. Logically, he ought also 
to receive a sufficient, and even a fairly liberal, 
solatium for his trouble and loss of time : and 
an honest loser ouQ-ht to be able to receive a 
certificate from the court entitling him to the 
same amenities, the withholding of which would 
constitute a deterrent penalty against factious 


litigation. But it may be urged on practical 
grounds that to make the path of the litigant 
too easy would lead to too much invocation of 
the law, and that the full recognition of the 
public usefulness of litigants must be postponed 
to the millennium — which age of ideal perfec- 
tion will not occur (it may be thought necessary 
to concede) a hundred years hence. And it is 
not difficult to imagine means by which the 
public can be protected against the factious 
and unnecessary litigation to which, in the 
absence of some safeguard, we should certainly 
be exposed. The plaintiff" might be required 
to obtain some sort of fiat, such as is required 
now before a suit of criminal libel can be 
prosecuted : and there would be no hardship 
in the litigant who failed to obtain the fiat 
being left to bear his own expenses up to the 
time of failure, though, in the event of his 
success, he would of course have them repaid. 
The legal machinery for obtaining permission 
to sue need not be made too complicated : it 
must not be allowed to develop into a sort of 
preliminary trial. Probably some sort of 
arrangement as the above will be instituted a 
hundred years hence, and all law-costs borne 
by the State, except in the case of obvious 
dishonesty or bad faith ; the trouble and loss of 
time necessarily incurred exercising a restrain- 
ing influence upon the litigious. 

In regard to the general machinery of the 


law it would be tedious to attempt to foresee 
all the reforms of which the growing complexity 
of human affairs will certainly impose the 
necessity upon us. The clumsiness of a system 
by which important civil cases have to be tried 
three times, in ways differing in detail, before 
a final decision is reached, needs no insisting 
upon : and there is a manifest inconsistency in 
the fact that an action about a matter worth 
^loi can be twice appealed, while a man tried 
for his life, or something even more important 
than life, has no appeal at all against an 
adverse verdict, except to a secret tribunal of 
Civil Service clerks — for in the " commutation " 
of sentences the Crown stands for the Home 
Secretary, and the Home Secretary is neces- 
sarily obliged to depend upon his assistants, 
who in their turn may very possibly have to 
derive their information from officials whose 
credit would be damaged if some fact favour- 
able to the prisoner came out. To admit this 
inconsistency is not by any means equivalent 
to admitting the necessity for courts of criminal 
appeal : and anyone who knows the methods 
of criminal jurisprudence in the United States 
must recognise that such courts are capable of 
abuse highly dangerous to public morality, so 
dependent upon respect for law. But with the 
great increase in scrupulosity and in the mild- 
ness of public temper which the tendencies of 
human development clearly vaticinate for the 


next century, it seems impossible to doubt that 
some method will be adopted by which criminal 
trials can be reviewed, even though the class 
of cases in which the necessity for review is 
most often mentioned now will no doubt have 
disappeared with the abolition of capital 
punishment. And it does not seem likely to 
be beyond the ingenuity of the coming time to 
discover some means by which civil cases can 
be settled in one trial, instead of requiring 
three, without danger to the justice of any 
individual suit. 

It is sometimes questioned whether trial by 
jury will continue a feature of modern civilisa- 
tion. The remark of a legal cynic that "the 
man with a good case is always safe with a 
judge, while the man with a bad case has always 
a chance with a jury," is sufficiently sound 
to make it a question whether juries are worth 
the trouble given to the members of them, and 
the vast amount of additional labour which 
their employment inflicts on the courts of which 
they are a feature. The conditions which 
make trial by jury "the h\Q^t p alia ditim of our 
liberties" have passed away in civilised 
countries, and to a great extent in Ireland. It 
is no doubt characteristic of the British people 
that we should so long as this have retained 
the use of juries in civil suits, though even 
here there are many cases (especially in 
divorce and libel) where the average common 



sense of a jury is really helpful to the judge, 
and constitutes a check upon his prejudice or 
impatience. There was a time when the jury 
was a genuine safeguard against oppression in 
private as well as Crown cases, and it is like 
us, as a nation, to have retained them when 
their usefulness in this respect was happily 
obsolete. But it seems to the writer pretty 
certain that in civil trials juries will have been 
dispensed with long before the end of this 
century, and this dispensation will probably be 
the stepping-stone to a system whereby 
criminal causes will be tried by a bench of 
judges, instead of by a judge and jury. The 
whole tendency of modern conditions (in which 
must be included our growing, and highly dis- 
creditable, individual impatience of the trouble 
of jury-service) seems to point to this.' 

Reforms of judicial procedure of course 

1 It may, perhaps, be thought that the disuse of trial by 
jury would be liable to perpetuate a somewhat glaring 
abuse of our present jurisprudence — the disproportionately 
severe repression of offences against property as compared 
with the disproportionately hght repression of offences 
against the person. But the mere fact that the " un- 
learned " bench is conspicuously inept in this particular is 
no reason for thinking that " learned " courts would be so : 
and meantime, as judges, like other men, are children of 
their epoch, we may suppose that the increased mildness 
of the new age will be reflected here as elsewhere, and that 
extenuating circumstances will be allowed more weight in 
determining a sentence for larceny, and less weight in 
determining a sentence for assault. 

LEGISLATION, AD. 2000 259 

constitute only a relatively small part of the 
legislative work which will have been accom- 
plished by the end of the century. Apart from 
the work of gradually remodelling the law 
with the idea (which nowhere seems to suggest 
itself to present-day legislators) of making it 
act beneficially upon public character, there 
will no doubt be a vast amount of work for 
the various parliaments of the world in codify- 
ing existing statute- and common-law systems, 
which in all communities have fallen into 
complexity and confusion of a degree which 
makes them highly unsatisfactory instruments 
of social protection : and there will also be 
a great amount of constructive legislation, 
particularly in regard to the tenure of land, to 
the simplification of conveyancing, to a more 
intelligent machinery of contracts, to the 
equitable handling of such accidental or condi- 
tional sources of wealth as we call " unearned 
increment " and the discovery of unexpected 
minerals, to the useful limitation of inheritance, 
and to other matters too numerous to be safely 
named. And in order that these great works 
may be accomplished, it is quite certain that, 
not only in England, but in all those States 
where really free parliaments exist, great re- 
forms will have been found necessary, and will 
have become so much a part of the machinery 
of legislation and administration a hundred 
years hence, that our descendants will hardly 


be able to realise how Government was 
ever carried on without them. Indeed, it is by 
the difficulty of administering anything at all 
by parliamentary methods — every year more 
evidently breaking down — rather than by the 
desire to undertake large schemes of lecjisla- 
tion, that statesmen will in a very short time 
be forced to initiate the changes whose full 
development will have become time-honoured 
by the end of this century. The organisation 
of political opposition in parliaments has 
reached a point which makes it evident that 
before long the minority in parliaments will 
have become a nonentity. The minority, in 
fact, has already, here and in other countries 
(of which the Austro-Hungarian empire is, at 
the moment, the most noticeable example), be- 
come so powerful for obstruction of business 
that, by a sort of paradox, its power is on the 
eve of complete destruction. At St Stephen's 
the effect of obstruction working in this 
manner is plainly visible. Whatever party is 
in power will always, so long as the existing 
system continues, be obliged to silence the 
opposition by the force of parliamentary 
machine ; and whatever party is in power will 
always be accused of tyranny and autocracy by 
the other party. In practice there is no 
method by which any important government 
measure can be passed through the House of 
Commons except by force. It is a mere farce 


to make a show of debating the details in 
committee. Naturally the Opposition, when it 
does not want the measure passed at all, will 
delay its passage to the last possible moment, 
and will make its enactment impossible unless 
a term is set to the deliberations of committee 
of the whole house. Whether the time granted 
by the Government be long or short makes no 
difference : it is impossible to pass any serious 
and complex bill except by the closure. In 
other words, the Government (which practically 
means the Civil Service officials and parlia- 
mentary draftsmen employed by the particular 
department concerned with the bill — the Home 
Office, the Local Government Board Office, the 
Exchequer, or what not) must triumph. Even 
the suggestions of individual supporters of the 
administration in power must be ignored, un- 
less there is a cave which might turn out the 
ministry altogether. In detail, therefore, we 
are governed, not by Parliament, but by the 
permanent officials, so far as really important 
Government measures are concerned : and it is 
quite evident that bills introduced by private 
members will very soon not be considered at 
all. The private member is rapidly being re- 
duced to nothingness by the force of parlia- 
mentary development. Meantime, the waste 
of public time by the introduction and debating 
of bills which the Opposition eventually 
succeeds in destroying, is appalling, and of 


course it is aggravated by the idiotic rule which 
destroys at the end of each session all the work 
which has been begun and not completed. 
The system, not less imbecile, in which opinion 
is ascertained in Parliament is another great 
time- waster. It is only necessary to ask for a 
single moment what our grandsons, or even 
the younger of our children, will think of a 
Parliament in which a vote was taken 
by solemnly walking through lobbies, with 
elaborate arrangements for counting and 
checking the members (when it might all be 
done by the simple use of an electric signal in 
front of each seat in the chamber) in order to 
perceive the miserable inadequacy of even the 
mechanical arrangements of all the parliaments 
of the world. And if even all the crass follies 
and mediaeval stupidities of modern parlia- 
mentary arrangements were reformed, as nine- 
tenths of them could be by any competent 
board composed of a few engineers, electricians 
and architects, we should still be in possession 
of a leo^islative machine such as the intellisfence 
of a hundred years hence would laugh to scorn 
if its restoration were sug-orested. 

Nor is this all. The whole institution of 
parliaments, as a contrivance for giving effect 
to the will of the peoples, has long been utterly 
inadequate, and must be reformed from the 
bottom. We elect members to carry out 
schemes of legislation and forms of policy 


never fully, and sometimes not even partially, 
formulated, upon which, even if they were set 
out in full detail, we could not possibly have 
any complete influence in giving our votes. 
For instance, let us suppose that, at a general 
election, one party wishes to increase the Navy, 
to abolish publicans' compensation, and to 
legalise marriage with a deceased wife's sister : 
while the other party not only objects to all 
these three proposals but also wishes to put a 
protective tariff on foodstuffs and machinery, 
to give Home Rule to Ireland, and to dis- 
establish the Church of England. A Home 
Ruler who was also a teetotaler could not vote 
for either party without outraging one or other 
of his convictions. A believer in the support 
of our national supremacy who also considered 
that the Church ought to be disestablished 
would have to choose between voting against 
the increase of the Navy or against the Dis- 
establishment : and the Deceased Wife's Sister 
Bill advocate must vote against all the proposals 
on the other side (all of which he may agree 
with) if he do not wish to assist in perpetuating 
what he believes to be a hardship to his fellow- 
countrymen, and very possibly to some of his 
own friends, or to himself. And any of these 
perplexed voters, having somehow contrived 
to strike a balance with his conscience, and 
to give a vote, will, perhaps, in a year's, or in 
six years', time find that he has been the 


instrument of placing in power an administration 
which is now proceeding to pass measures that 
he abhors. He has no redress. Nor, abandon- 
ing the extreme case of such highly-mixed 
policies as I have endeavoured to amuse the 
reader by imagining, has the voter who 
changes his mind, or who finds that he has 
been bamboozled with false promises, any 
means of helping to undo the harm he has 
helped to do. It used to be said that, on an 
average, parliamentary government worked 
well — that it carried out in a rough way the 
will of the people. But the peoples of a 
hundred years hence are going to be much 
more particular about matters of such high im- 
portance. They are not going to be content 
with a rough approximation in matters of the 
very highest moment when they are able to 
secure with perfect accuracy most of their 
wishes in matters of quite minor importance. 
They will not be satisfied to know exactly 
what time it is at any moment of the day (as of 
course they will know, all instruments for time- 
measuring being controlled by wireless syn- 
chronisation) and not to know exactly what their 
rulers are going to do about matters upon 
which the very fate of the country may depend. 
Neither will they have remained so stupid as to 
think that whatever one body of politicians 
considers right must be right and that whatever 
another body thinks right must necessarily be 


wrong. It is quite certain that in a really in- 
telligent age so clumsy a system as that of 
party government will have been relegated to 

The political machinery to replace it will be 
of a nature determined by causes much too 
complex to be foreseen, except in the merest 
outline, as yet ; and probably it will, like most 
political institutions, be a development rather 
than an invention. The system, already tallied 
of, by which any matter of great national im- 
portance should be made a referendum, the 
subject of a direct vote by the whole nation, 
is no doubt capable of ingeniously modified 
arrangement so as to provide for its expeditious 
use, without undue interference with the course 
of ordinary business. But obviously this de- 
vice is only capable of limited application, and 
it could not be employed at all, without pro- 
ducing dangerous confusions and incongruities, 
except in a community whose political education 
had made strides almost inconceivable in the 
light of our present limited experience. It is 
difficult to see how the oreneral leg^islative 
business of a considerable nation could be 
carried on unless by committees of a parlia- 
mentary character ; and limited as we are by 
the history of political institutions arising out 
of states of public intelligence which will have 
become contemptible in comparison with the 
intelligence of the next century, there is a 


difficulty in conceiving how such committees 
or parliaments could work out otherwise than 
on some sort of party system. But the analogy 
of progress in general may help us to a con- 
jecture, which is here offered only for what it 
is worth. All progress, as we know it, is a 
development from the homogeneous to the 
heterogeneous. One form of progress consists 
of the development of specialism. At one 
time, and not so very long ago, every house- 
wife made her own jams, pickles, perfumes, 
essences and condiments, which are now pur- 
chased ready made. A man of science, in 
Davy's time, often embraced a number of 
different branches as his province ; whereas 
now even a single science is seldom completely 
handled by any individual professor, entomo- 
logists differentiating themselves from general 
biologists, and coleopterists from general 
entomologists. Does it not appear likely, 
then, that the functions of the politician and of 
the legislator will presently be differentiated, 
with great advantage to nations? In a 
legislature of the present time professional 
law-makers are numerically few, and not very 
highly regarded. While in a matter relatively 
unimportant, like coach-building, civilisation 
has made specialism necessary ; in a matter 
of the highest importance, the making of a 
nation's laws, we continue to trust the general 
practitioner, and the suggestion that specialists 

PARLIAMENT, A.D. 2000 267 

alone should be employed in it would probably 
awaken a torrent of objection not unmingled 
with execration. But specialism of all sorts will 
have extended its sway to such an extent a 
hundred years hence that the likeliest solution 
of the difficulties at present envisaged is that 
the business of law-making will be relegated to 
a specially qualified and specially educated class, 
and that parliaments, if they exist at all, will 
have nothing to do with it, but will concern 
themselves with what they are often rather 
contumeliously told now is not their business 
(though it ought to be) ; namely, the manage- 
ment of international policy. The way in 
which this evolution will come about is, more- 
over, fairly easy to imagine. At some time 
during the century the manifold confusions, 
inconsistencies and evident inconveniences of 
the existing corpus of the law are pretty sure 
to require drastic and laborious treatment, 
which can only be administered by professional 
experts. At the same time, the public, having 
awakened to the ludicrous fact that laws are 
passed in every session of every Parliament in 
the world, which, when they come to be 
administered, break down because they have 
either been so stupidly and unimaginatively con- 
ceived, or so clumsily expressed in the statutes 
which embody them, that practical working 
immediately reveals their fatal defects. A 
clever young lawyer once said to the present 


writer that he knew of no intellectual pleasure 
so delightful as that of discovering how to 
circumvent the provisions of an Act of Parlia- 
ment. This diverting, if immoral, remark 
illustrates the faults of a social system in which 
laws are made chiefly by persons having little 
experience in the working of laws, and elected 
to that duty by persons having no such ex- 
perience at all. Having in mind the fact that 
international law is already relegated practically 
to specialists, it requires no great effort of 
imagination to foresee that the Hercules that 


will cleanse the Augean stable of the Statute 
Book will be a committee of professors of law. 
And once the public has become familiarised 
with the idea, what more natural than that a 
similar body should be formed to provide 
aofainst such legfislative blunders as we were 
all recently laughing at, when, having pro- 
vided for the restraint of habitual drunkards 
by placing them on what was called the black 
list. Parliament presently learned that it had so 
framed the law that no one could be black- 
listed except by his own consent? The 
development from this to a system by which 
laws would not merely be amended, but de- 
vised ab ovo, by professional legislators, is easy 
to foresee ; and with properly-devised precau- 
tions to ensure that the laws created shall 
express the will of a sovereign people sufficiently 
educated in political duty to possess a will worthy 

DIPLOMACY. AD. 2000 269 

of consideration, probably no better solution of 
the legislative difficulty can be imagined. 

The conduct of foreign affairs is a matter 
much less easy to reform. If despotisms were 
not such desperately untrustworthy things, a 
good sound autocracy would probably be the 
best form of government for the function of 
conducting the affairs of one nation with 
another. The extraordinary diplomatic success 
of Russia is an evidence of this. But Russia 
also illustrates the drawbacks of despotism. 
In its manaorement of foreign affairs Russia 
has (despite the habit which its departments 
occasionally display of acting in conflict with 
one another) beaten all the civilised nations. 
Russia has a "continuous" foreign policy. 
There are no changes of ministers to nullify 
each other's work and to encourage the diplo- 
matists of other nations to procrastinate and 
shilly-shally over negotiations in the hope that 
a oreneral election will brinor in a new set of 
statesmen, easier to deal with. And Russia 
can herself procrastinate, prevaricate and play 
all sorts of tricks, neglect her promises, ignore 
her pledges, and prosecute her cryptic aims, 
without the smallest fear of a question in 
Parliament to spoil her game by letting all the 
world into her dark and devious secrets. The 
more a nation becomes democratised, the less 
competent it is to manage its foreign policy 
against less democratic nations, and a truly 


popular Government is, in the present state 
of the world, about the worst conceivable 
instrument for that purpose. With an ever- 
increasing democratisation of all governments 
such as we are sure to witness during this 
century, foreign offices of the present kind will 
become more and more incompetent until some 
sort of machinery is invented in their place. 

Nor will the disappearance of the ultimate 
resort to arms, as a possibility always threaten- 
ing in the background, tend to improve 
matters. It will, on the contrary, make them 
worse. There can be no doubt that the awful 
fear of war, which must haunt the pillow of 
every statesman in our day with dreams of 
pitiable horror, does exercise an influence in 
settling controversies which, without this 
terror, would drag their slow length along 
from generation to exasperated generation. 
And if we try to imagine that the in- 
creased conscientiousness of a better time 
will help nations to deal more honourably 
with each other, it is to be feared that even 
the vast progress of the quick-moving century 
on which we have entered will not suffice to 
bind the princes to its pleasure and teach their 
senators wisdom. It is unfortunately in 
regard to honour between nation and nation 
that conscience develops most slowly, and 
many a man who would scorn to trick a fellow- 
citizen, or even defraud a railway company, 

DIPLOMACY, AD. 2000 271 

and who would quite possibly hesitate 
before smuggling a box of cigars through 
the custom-house, will calmly advocate acts 
of international dishonesty and oppres- 
sion abhorrent to any conscientious mind. 

There can be no doubt that the most 
deleterious influence of our times, which 
encourages nations to delay and deny to each 
other justice and the fulfilment of solemn 
obligations, is the habit of waiting upon the 
chances of a minister's fall, and a resulting 
change of policy. So long as almost any day 
may bring a new set of statesmen, predisposed 
against anything which their predecessors may 
have approved, diplomacy will be disfigured 
by ways that are dark and tricks that are vain : 
and the logical twentieth of the centuries may 
be trusted to perceive this. Consequently 
some method will have to be devised by which 
a continuous foreign policy may be made 
compatible with the performance of a nation's 
will. And here the wiser nature of the new 
age will assist the constructive genius of the 
reformer. No doubt the habit of changing 
our minds on the basic principles of govern- 
ment about once every six years will have 
been eradicated. Peoples will deliberate more 
intelligently upon the important questions 
which they decide by their votes : and it will 
no longer be thought — or rather, we shall no 
longer act as if we thought — that a modifica- 


tion of general opinion in regard (say) to 
Home Rule for Ireland must necessarily carry 
with it a change of opinion as to whether 
it is desirable to extend our influence in 
Afghanistan. When this error is abandoned, 
probably foreign affairs will no longer be made 
part and parcel of the work of the same set of 
men that is elected to manage domestic policy. 
It will then be possible for the people to 
express — as they rarely have any opportunity 
to express under the present system — their 
sovereign will in regard to international 
matters. And here, as everywhere, responsi- 
bility will certainly exercise an educative 
influence. When men intelligently realise 
that by their votes they are deciding the fate 
of their country, they will deliberate long 
before yielding a decision so momentous. In- 
asmuch as the foreign affairs of any nation are 
truly understood only by a very limited class, 
because very few people are willing to give up 
enough of their leisure to the studies necessary 
for such an understanding, it seems reasonable 
to think that one feature of the polity of the 
year 2000 may be the limitation of the right to 
vote on foreiorn affairs to men and women who 
have demonstrated in some sufficient manner 
their competence to assist in directing the 
action of their representatives in matters so 
intricate. The increased leisure with which 
other reforms already foreseen will endow the 


people will of course facilitate the acquirement 
of this competence, and the right to vote on 
foreign affairs will doubtless be a coveted 
social distinction, subserving the perennial love 
of titles and the childlike pleasure of having 
letters after one's name. Nor need we be too 
much daunted In this conjecture by the 
whispered word " oligarchy." When oligarchy 
really means government by those best 
qualified to govern — the nature of this " best- 
ness " being intelligently determined — 
oligarchy will be recognised as the most satis- 
factory form of government : and in order to 
exclude objectionable one-sidedness in the 
method of selecting voters for the high duty 
of guarding the nation's honour, no doubt some 
method of selection by vote can be discovered, 
free from liability to. reintroduce the baleful 
evil of party. 

Coming now to other functions of a State, 
the most obvious subject for conjecture is that 
suggested by the tendency in recent times of 
governments (and following their example of 
municipalities) to engage in trade. The com- 
ment which gained currency over a decade 
ago, that we were all socialists then, is still 
more justified now. Will States continue their 
increasing practice of usurping the place of 
private adventurers ? Will railways, canals, 
telephonic and teleautographic systems, street 
conveyances, and so forth, be owned and 


controlled by various public authorities, after 
education, some other functions, including the 
feeding and clothing of poor children during 
school age, and the care of the unemployed 
(which States before long will certainly have em- 
braced) have by a more enlightened polity been 
returned to the proper hands ? The whole 
question of whether socialism is a probable 
solution of the difficulties which its advocates 
believe it capable of solving is here involved. 
Applying our familiar principle of estimating 
the tendencies of the future by the trend of 
events in the past, it seems certain that there 
will for a good many years immediately to 
come be an increase in the functions assumed 
by the State : but that the whole plunge into 
socialism will not be undertaken. For, while 
measures undisguisedly socialistic in character 
are more and more advocated and adopted, the 
open principle of State socialism seems to find 
less support every year. Whenever distress 
becomes prevalent, plenty of writers, for 
instance, loudly denounce Governments for not 
finding work for everyone who fails to find 
work for himself — so long as he is a man ! 
(No one appears to think it the Government's 
duty to find work for women.) But when 
socialism is openly propounded, the same 
authors just as vehemently denounce the 
socialistic system to which this principle of 
regarding the State as the duty-bound 


employer of the workless clearly tends. What 
will most likely happen is that devices, more and 
more socialistic, for dealing with emergencies, 
and inconveniences of various sorts, will be 
adopted and maintained until their own incon- 
venience and injustice have made themselves 
felt : and then a more reasonable agfe will eet 
rid of them — better remedies having meantime 
been discovered — at the same time perceiving 
their deleterious effect upon private respon- 
sibility, and wondering why it has tolerated the 
old methods so long. In other words, social- 
istic experiments will have demonstrated their 
own evils before the habit of indulging in them 
has gone so far as to allow States to drift the 
whole way into socialism. It is even possible 
that the example of some single nation, drift- 
ing thus far, and setting up a socialistic State, 
may serve as a useful warning to the rest of 
the world, and determine the gradual abandon- 
ment of the dangerous tendencies which will 
have increasingly manifested themselves. For 
it is certain that, unless in exceptional and 
abnormal instances — of which the Australian 
Commonwealth is very likely to furnish an 
example — political systems will always continue 
to develop by evolutionary, and not by 
revolutionary, steps. We shall pass gradually, 
and by a process of construction and elimina- 
tion, from one condition to another, until the 
very greatly improved system of government 


and administration whose period of existence I 
have ventured to place at about the beginning 
of the next century, has become general 
throughout the world. 

We may, for instance, very easily imagine 
how a more intelligent electorate will abolish 
some abuses, by considering the condition of 
the post-office department of this and other 
countries. It is hardly thinkable that, during 
any period of the world's history, the business 
of carrying letters can be thrown open to any- 
one who chooses to undertake it. If there 
were nothing to be dealt with except the 
domestic correspondence of each nation, 
probably it would be a great deal better that it 
should be thus thrown open to competition : it 
is hardly likely that the vast business of 
international correspondence can ever be satis- 
factorily conducted, except by administrations 
acting in the name and behalf of every State. 
But there is not the least reason for thinking 
that the abuses which deface the postal depart- 
ment of this and every other nation will be 
perpetual. The British post-office contributes 
annually a " profit " of several millions sterling 
to the Exchequer. Every person who writes 
a letter, therefore, is taxed for doing it. In 
proportion to the intelligence, commercial 
enterprise, family affection, or professional 
diligence by which he is prompted to use 
correspondence, every one of us is compelled 

THE POST-OFFICE, A.D. 2000 277 

to contribute something more to the up-keep 
of the State than his neighbour who is too 
lazy, too ignorant or too callous to trouble 
himself with letter-writing. No doubt it is 
impossible, without a loss which would amount 
to subsidising in an equally objectionable 
manner, the users of the post-office, to conduct 
that department except at a profit of some 
sort : but it surely will not be pretended that it 
could not be conducted without exacting such 
a surplus as the post-office does annually 
contribute to the Budofet. The vicious manner 
in which we treat the postal service as a sort 
of trading department, expected to yield the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer a convenient sum 
towards his expenditure, is illustrated by the 
disgraceful underpayment of the minor officials, 
such as postmen, small post-masters, telegraph 
messengers and the like. The post-office 
buys its labour in the cheapest market : there 
is but too much reason for the belief that it 
treats with oppressive harshness attempts on 
the part of its servants to better their wages 
by organisation : and when reproved in the 
House of Commons for sweating his work- 
people, a postmaster-general can always reply, 
amid applause, that he dare not embarrass his 
ricrht-honourable friend the Chancellor of the 


Exchequer. The polity of the enlightened 
future will assuredly desist from penalising 
intelligence, enterprise, and the other com- 


mendable characteristics which tend to increase 
a man's correspondence ; and the postmaster- 
general who will be praised a hundred years 
hence will be that one who has succeeded in 
managing his department with the smallest 
possible surplus. We have only to envisage 
the obvious justice of this ambition to perceive 
the objections which attach to the adoption of 
trading functions by the State. Though it is 
very likely that railways will be nationalised in 
this, as they have been nationalised or subsi- 
dised in many other countries, it is quite certain 
that if we do nationalise them we shall be com- 
pensated by none of the advantages which 
make us tolerant, and even unconscious, of 
the abuses of the British post-office — itself in 
most respects one of the least imperfect of 
bureaucracies. The faults generally found with 
railways are precisely the faults of bureau- 
cracy, and in proportion as railways become 
more and more united in their policy, through 
amalofamation and arrano^ements for mutual 
assistance, those faults constantly increase. 
The same will presently be found true of all 
governmental usurpations of private enterprise : 
and it cannot be doubted that in this, as in so 
many other respects, the functions of govern- 
ments will be greatly reduced a hundred years 

One subject which cannot be neglected in 
any attempt to foresee the conditions of the 


law in the next century is the delicate and 
difficult one of marriao-e laws : and on no 
subject are differences of opinion so numerous 
and so acute. All that seems to be generally 
agreed is that under the present system 
inconveniences and immoralities occur : and 
it is (of course) supposed to be a corollary 
that if the system were changed these incon- 
veniences and immoralities would disappear. 
This is the usual method of considering social 
difficulties. Hardly anyone will consent to 
base plans for the future upon experience of 
the past. It is always presumed that new 
laws can reform abuses, without changes in 
the spirit of the age, which gives rise to the 
abuses. One class of thinkers, despairing of 
moral improvement, considers that, immorality 
being irremediable, the only thing to be done 
is to give it sanction ; as it must exist, it must 
be made respectable and unscandalous. An- 
other set of reformers would penalise immor- 
ality by forbidding the guilty party in a divorce 
suit to re-marry, just as there are people who 
would prevent the physically unfit from marry- 
ing at all. Both forget that the prohibition of 
legal unions is much more likely to lead to an 
increase of irregular connections than to 
produce any other effect. No doubt we could 
improve the physical standard of the legiti- 
mately born by the prohibition last digressively 
mentioned : but it would be at the expense of 


an increase in illegitimate births accompanied 
by the additional disadvantage of bodily 
weakness. Similarly, so far from the prohibi- 
tion of re-marriage restraining the immorally 
disposed, it is much more likely that it would 
encourage them : the fact that a co-respondent 
could not be called upon to marry the woman 
divorced in consequence of her guilty associa- 
tion with him would hardly act generally as a 
deterrent ; while, if he had been willing to face 
the probable consequences of publicity, expense 
and inconvenience attending a liaison with a 
woman under coverture, the co-respondent 
would not think it necessary to abandon his 
confederate, if he wished, and she were willing, 
to continue their connection after all the 
penalties had been suffered, merely because 
the law prevented a regular union. It is 
agreed by all jurists that the only justification 
for the greater severity with which matrimonial 
infidelity is visited on women as compared 
with men is the greater social degradation 
with which society visits women who have 
offended. To penalise their offence by 
prohibiting re-marriage would only perpetuate 
their degradation, and does in fact so per- 
petuate and increase it in countries where the 
condemned party in a divorce is forbidden the 

On the other hand, to recognise a sort of 
promiscuity, as some writers have suggested 


that we shall be obliged to do, would probably 
be attended by worse effects than the bold 
and straightforward acceptance of polygamy 
as a necessary remedy for the excess of 
feminine population, which a writer of letters to 
the shocked and astonished newspapers of this 
city recently proposed. Neither expedient is 
capable of being adopted : nor does there seem 
much likelihood that public morality can be 
improved by legislation, though it is certain 
to be much improved by the spontaneous 
amelioration of public sentiment, No doubt 
in one or two particulars the marriage laws 
will gradually undergo amendment. It will 
be realised that it is much more immoral 
to compel unwilling couples to live to- 
gether matrimonially, than to set them free 
to remedy one of the most hideous of all 
possible mistakes. The difficulty of deter- 
mining what shall be done where one party 
wishes for divorce, while the other does not, is 
greater : but on the whole it will probably be 
considered more conducive to morality to 
dissolve the marriage here, after a pre- 
cautionary and experimental period of pro- 
visional separation, than to insist upon its 
perpetuation. That age will only be ripe for 
such a reform as this, which, by moral progress, 
has rendered intolerable the position of a 
libertine capable of entering into matrimony 
with the deliberate intention of getting out of 


it again when it ceases to be attractive, and in 
which the social estimate of a person who 
acted in the same manner through insta- 
bility of character would be not much 
better. In any reform of the kind sug- 
gested, it would no doubt be arranged that 
pecuniary liabilities, allocated to the support 
and education of children, would follow the 
party insisting on divorce ; and this also 
would act as a check upon dishonest contracts 
of marriage. 

Thus, for any radical improvement in the 
system of matrimonial connections, we must 
look to a corresponding improvement in the 
spirit of the age, and the first step in advance 
will have been taken when marriage ceases to 
be the only legal contract which is enforced 
notwithstanding the ignorance of a contracting 
party as to the engagement entered into. 
The frequency of divorce petitions will be 
greatly diminished from the time we get rid of 
the idiotic and almost incredibly wicked 
convention by which we take every possible 
precaution we can think of to ensure that a 
girl, when she marries, shall have no possible 
means of knowinor to what she is committinor 
herself. No more ingenious contrivance for 
obtaining marital infelicity could be imagined. 
The next step will have been taken when it is 
recognised as disgraceful for parents to put 
pressure upon the inclinations of their children 


of either sex to induce them to marry, and 
when social execration renders such pressure 
impossible. Concurrently with this, or as a 
result of it, a third step will be some abate- 
ment of our present entire neglect of any 
demand for good character in a bridegroom 
who would be outrao^ed if he thought that the 
least aspersion could be suggested concerning 
his bride. In other words, the greatest im- 
provements in the status of the world with 
regard to matrimony will be effected when 
we recognise the claim of woman to be 
made the equal of man in knowledge, in dis- 
cretion and in social rio-hts. No lesfis- 
lative reform as yet ever suggested could 
have anything like as much effect in removing 
the evils under which we groan, in respect 
to matrimony, as this natural and inevitable 

Naturally the improvement in the position of 
women in the new age will not arrive at a 
bound, nor will their rights in relation to 
marriage be unaccompanied by other rights at 
present withheld, and perhaps not always un- 
reasonably withheld. On the contrary, the 
recocjnition of one set of rio-hts will facilitate 
and accelerate the recognition of the other. It 
is generally agreed that the tendency of the 
sexes is to become less divergent, intellectually 
and morally, for reasons connected with what 
Spencer calls " the less early arrest of individual 


evolution, and the result everywhere seen 
throughout the organic world, of a self-preserv- 
ing power inversely proportionate to the race- 
preserving power." ' 

As it will have been realised, long before the 
advent of the next century, that the surest way 
to improved capacity is to be found in increased 
responsibility, women will not, a hundred years 
hence, be allowed or compelled to shirk their 
political obligations. We may see with half an 
eye that every year women are becoming more 
capable, and also more desirous of aiding the 
counsels of the public : and in some of our 
Colonies, as well as in some States of the 
American Union, they are already voting, and 
voting (as it turns out) with the most wonderful 
intelligence and usefulness. The influence of 
the female vote in, for example, New Zealand 
has been for some time perceptible in the legis- 
lation of that highly-enlightened colony : and I 
never heard anyone object to the results of this 
influence except persons whose conduct, or the 
conduct which they approved in their associates, 
was likely to be inconvenienced by them. It is 
no doubt true that women are a great deal more 
fond of demanding that the law should do work 
which it would be better to leave to natural 
developments of public character than could 
be wished : but then so are men, and it is an 
unquestionable thing that the misdeeds which 
^ Study of Sociology y Chapter XV. 


men more readily condone than women are 
much more likely to be bad for public morality 
than those which women condone more freely 
than men. There is no particular reason for 
thinking at the present time (though there was 
ample reason for thinking a few decades ago) 
that women will be more prone to legislate un- 
necessarily, and therefore mischievously, than 
men : and we are in any case bound to pass 
through a good many years of parliament- 
worship before we awaken to the fact that the 
law cannot do everything, and that any reform 
which is accomplished by the spontaneous 
influence of public opinion is always a great 
deal more complete, a great deal more con- 
ducive to public self-respect, and a great deal 
better adjusted to the special requirements of 
every individual circumstance that it touches, 
than one which is laboriously and mechanically 
embodied in statutes which cannot but be im- 
perfect, cannot possibly fail to act oppressively 
and unjustly in one place or another, and 
frequently prove to be unworkable from begin- 
ning to end. 



*' On the other hand, after observing how the 
processes that have brought things to their 
present stage are still going on, not with a 
decreasing rapidity indicating approach to 
cessation, but with an increasing rapidity that 
implies long continuance and immense transfor- 
mations ; there follows the conviction that the 
remote future has in store, forms of social life 
higher than any we have imagined : there 
comes a faith transcending that of the Radical, 
whose aim is some re-organisation admitting of 
comparison to organisations which exist. And 
while this conception of societies has naturally 
evolved, beginning with small and simple types 
which have their short existences and disappear, 
advancing to higher types that are larger, more 
complex, and longer-lived, coming to still- 
higher types like our own, great in size, com- 
plexity, and duration, and promising types 
transcending these in times after existing 
societies have died away — while this concep- 
tion of societies implies that in the slow course 



of things changes almost immeasurable in 
amount are possible, it also implies that but 
small amounts of such changes are possible, 
within short periods " — Herbert Spencer : The 
Study of Sociology, Chapter XVI. 

It has repeatedly been necessary, in the 
course of this survey, to stimulate the indul- 
gence of the reader by a reminder, based upon 
the speed of our progress in the past and its 
steady acceleration in recent decades, that there 
is much more danorer of underestimatingr than 
of exaggerating the advances likely to have 
been achieved a hundred years hence. In 
order to guard against misconception of the 
manner in which these advances will be brought 
about, it is now advisable to mention specific- 
ally what has been once or twice hinted 
parenthetically, namely, the fact that the pro- 
gress of the Future is certain to be produced in 
a way perfectly capable of being deduced from 
the manner of our progress in the past. One 
of the most fruitful causes of error in existinor 


prognostications has been the tacit assumption 
that, at some vague moment in the spacious 
middle-distance of the coming time, sudden 
and cataclysmal movements of society, and 
also unexpected and revolutionary discoveries 
in science, will occur : and it is as a precaution 
against one aspect of this mistake that a 
weighty quotation from the writings of one of 
the sanest and most perspicuous thinkers who 


have ever written upon that science of society 
which he may almost be said to have created 
has been recalled to the memory of the reader 
at the head of this chapter. 

The forecast now almost concluded, imperfect 
and visionary as it must necessarily be, was 
commenced with some reflections on the rate of 
future progress made probable by the move- 
ments of the recent past. But nothing whatever 
can be deduced from what history, remote or 
recent, shows us, to suggest that any stable 
institution can be created otherwise than by 
steady development : it is only the speed of 
development which is likely to alter, and even 
this will only alter by a progression gaining 
impetus from the influence of its own com- 
ponents. Whether we consider material im- 
provements effected by science and invention 
and the interaction of these ; or social improve- 
ments effected by readjustment of the conditions 
of life forced upon us through the influence of 
intellectual and moral changes in the individual 
units of society making themselves felt as 
asfofresrated forces ; the manner of attainment is 
nearly identical. It is commonly objected to 
this view, that whereas science and invention 
commonly progress in a movement characterised 
(so to speak) by a succession of jerks, social 
conditions change imperceptibly. But thus to 
object is to overlook the fact that, while no doubt 
society develops from time to time certain 


needs whose growth is so steady as to preclude 
the possibility of pointing to a final moment 
when the satisfaction of them has become at 
length inevitable, yet, when this satisfaction is 
gained by legislative enactment, there is always 
a moment when the public, ripe for a given re- 
form, takes definite possession of it. For ex- 
ample (to name a comparatively recent case), no 
doubt the desire for some method by which the 
public could distinguish between foreign and 
home-made articles of merchandise had for some 
time been generally felt before the passing of 
the Merchandise Marks Act fixed a moment at 
which all dubiety on the subject would vanish, 
by endeavouring to require that any imported 
object bearing marks calculated to give the im- 
pression that it had been manufactured in Eng- 
land should also bear a definite and correct 
statement as to its place of origin. Whether we 
'^"^..isider this enactment to have been desirable 
or not, it is impossible to deny that there was a 
specific moment when it took effect. And simi- 
larly, the bill for the repression of secret com- 
missions in business has come so near to being 
passed through Parliament that many people 
imagine it to be already law, though it is not, 
at the time of writing, even (in a technical sense) 
before the legislature. Without question, there- 
fore, public opinion is ripe for this reform, and 
has with great crradualness become so : but the 
reform itself, when it takes place (as it may quite 



conceivably have taken place by the time this 
book is printed), will occur suddenly. There 
will be a day when the manager of a business 
house could, with immunity from any overt 
punishment except the loss of his employment, 
receive a secret bribe from another house with 
which he was doing business on behalf of his 
master; and a succeeding day on which, for the 
same offence against commercial integrity, he 
could be charo^ed before a magistrate and ulti- 
mately punished by the law. Thus the differ- 
ence between scientific progress and social 
progress is not so great as has been sometimes 
imagined. And on the other hand, although to 
the casual observer scientific discoveries and 
new inventions often appear to have been 
attained at a single step, to a person interested 
in the particular branch of science, or the par- 
ticular path of invention where a new achieve- 
ment occurs, it is generally quite evident that 
the latter has been led up to by steady progress 
extending over a long period. The existence 
of unidentified constituents in atmospheric air, 
for instance, must have been long suspected 
before the isolation of argon gave, to the public 
eye, the impression of a sudden discovery : 
and astronomical disturbances have generally 
puzzled a great army of observers for a long 
time before the public is indulged by the 
announcement of a " new" star in the heavens. 
To the reader who has been good enough to 


grant any validity at all to the arguments by 
which I have sought to show that, as time goes 
on, there will be a decreasing tendency to 
attempt desired reforms by legislative process, 
and an increasing tendency to make the public 
the guardian of its own security, it will be 
evident that any differences which exist between 
the nature of scientific progress and the nature 
of social progress are likely to be accentuated 
rather than diminished in the course of this 
century. A change brought about by the 
spontaneous activity of the people naturally 
occurs without the definite line of demarcation 
created by an Act of Parliament. 

But there is one way in which the analogy 
between scientific and social progress will be 
noteworthy. It is a commonplace of industrial 
history that an improvement in one machine, 
or the introduction of some novel method of 
applying power, always produces, and may very 
often necessitate, modifications in a number of 
procedures not previously seen to be connected 
with it: and great results from little causes 
flow. No one foresaw, when Mr Edison dis- 
covered the differences in the electrical con- 
ductivity of carbon induced by slight variations 
of pressure— a discovery at first utilised only 
in the micro-tasimeter, the appliance used for 
measuring small changes in the size of objects 
submitted to it — that the same discovery would 
presently render commercially practicable the 


electrical transmission of speech and numerous 
other conveniences, themselves the progenitors 
of fresh inventions now in constant use. Simi- 
larly, political and social changes quite easy to 
foresee will undoubtedly have effects which in 
their entirety no one can possibly foresee. The 
rate of advancement cannot be calculated like 
a geometrical progression : all that we can 
hope to do is to realise more or less vaguely 
the acceleration which the action and interaction 
of anticipated (and often antagonistic) forces 
will produce ; the general manner of the world's 
progress representing the resultant of their 
activities. What we must constantly keep in 
mind is the fact that changes in the institutions 
of society can only be stable when they are the 
result of corresponding changes in the temper 
of the age which yields them. As this temper 
is a thing of gradual development, we must 
believe that many temporary expedients will 
have to be tolerated by advanced thinkers 
since (as Spencer remarks) society can only be 
held toofether when the institutions existing-, 
and the conceptions generally current, are in 
tolerable harmony. We can foresee many 
changes which will be in beneficent existence 
a hundred years hence ; but it would be irra- 
tional to show impatience because these changes 
cannot be immediately proposed ; since, being 
not yet in harmony with the current concep- 
tions of the world, their immediate adoption 


would be mischievous instead of beneficial, and 
their results anarchic instead of stable. For a 
great many years we must go on passing laws 
for the regulation of social life, which we can 
quite easily perceive that the altered social life 
of a future age will not need, because they 
would be injurious to it. The zealous re- 
former who wishes, as we must all wish, to 
help the world in its wearied way to perfec- 
tion must aim rather to assist the mind of 
people to demand greater reforms than it could 
as yet assimilate, than to procure the arrival of 
reforms for which society is not yet ripe, and 
must be content with the effort 

"... to ease the burden of the world 
Laboriously tracing what must be 
And what may yet be better." 

To say this is not to deprecate the greatest 
possible energy in all endeavour that makes for 
progress. The doctrine, founded upon a per- 
ception of the impossibility of regenerating 
society except by utilising the natural and 
evolutionary movement of society itself, that 
nothing ought to be done except to wait upon 
this movement, betrays an evident confusion of 
thought, akin to the fallacy of the schoolmen, 
commonly called realism, partly adopted by 
Comte. "Society" is not in itself an entity 
separable from the units of society ; a progress 
of society is only possible as the result of 


human volition progressively exercised. What 
we have to look for is a steady enlightenment 
of public ideals, issuing in the triumph of wis- 
dom over folly, of virtue over laxity, of progress 
over reaction and inertia. Always there will 
be differences of opinion, exercising a salutary 
check upon hasty public action, and giving 
time for the establishment of harmony between 
the spirit of the age and the new institutions 
which mark its progress. 

Naturally there will have been many changes 
in the material of daily life which, either because 
they did not fit in with any one of the divisions 
into which a forecast of the future naturally 
fell, or because the consideration of them would 
have obscured the exposition of matters more 
immediately connected with each other, it has 
not been possible to mention. For example, 
we have had occasion to debate the methods 
by which men and women will transact the 
business of trade and commerce with the aid 
of certain foreseen conveniences ; and we have 
glanced at the probable future aspect of dwel- 
lings, conveyances and similar conveniences ; 
but nothinof has been said as to the clothes in 
which our descendants are likely to attire them- 
selves or the enjoyment of these advantages. 
The latter and a few other minor subjects may 
perhaps be considered now, without very much 
mutual connection. 

The clothing of men and women happens to 


illustrate rather appropriately the very same 
tendency of civilised institutions to develop 
by gradual, rather than violent, changes which 
has just been referred to. For, while a good 
deal is heard about the '* vagaries " of fashion, 
technical writers on the subject always seem to 
be able to predict some time in advance the 
movements of modish costume ; and they some- 
times even condescend to explain the processes 
of thought and observation by which their 
apparently inspired predictions are arrived at. 
Moreover, admitting, and allowing for, the 
extremest variations in detail, costume in civil- 
ised countries can hardly be said to have 
materially and intrinsically altered — cannot, 
that is to say, be said to have altered its funda- 
mental characteristics — during a century, in the 
case of men, nor during a great many centuries 
in the case of women. Since the age of knee- 
breeches succeeded the age of doublet and hose, 
men have always protected their legs with 
" bifurcated integuments " — some sort of double 
tube secured to a copious bag enclosing the 
middle of the body — and the upper part of the 
trunk with a coat and waistcoat ; while women 
have always worn bodices and petticoats of one 
shape or another. Neither has the loudest 
outcry against the irrationality of costume as a 
whole, nor even the ridicule showered upon 
single elements of it, ever had the least effect 
in producing revolutionary modification. Punch 


lauorhed in vain at crinolines ; Lord Ronald 
Gower protests in vain against the silk "chim- 
ney-pot " hat. Will a more scientific and a 
more logical age replace absurd or otherwise 
objectionable garments by others more reason- 
ably designed, to such an extent as to produce 
an entire change in the sartorial aspect of 
civilised peoples ? 

It is impossible to doubt that in some 
respects it will. Already sensible women 
decline to injure themselves and risk the injury 
of their possible offspring at the command of 
fashion. Tight-lacing and the wearing of such 
corsets as unnaturally compress the internal 
organs of the body are evidently near the end 
of their long reign. In a comparatively short 
time it is hardly possible to doubt that at least 
these, the most evidently injurious articles of 
clothing still surviving, will have joined the 
farthingale and the ruff in the lumber-room of 
the obsolete, and when what is really the more 
reasonable moiety of mankind is thus within 
easy reach of sacrificing to hygiene what was 
dedicated to a wholly mistaken conception of 
aesthetics, can we question that reforms in male 
dress founded upon convenience and reason 
will follow, even to the abandonment of the 
silk hat? If one were asked to suggest the 
various steps by which the ultimate costume of 
the century, whether male or female, will be 
arrived at, few would not boggle at the task. 


But the general nature of the more-or-less-per- 
fected dress of a hundred years hence may 
perhaps be not unsuccessfully imagined, having 
in mind the considerations likely to determine 

We may be quite certain that two character- 
istics will be demanded of all costume — that it 
shall give to all movements of the body the 
greatest possible freedom consistent with 
warmth, and that it shall be as easy as possible 
to put on and take off. The highly intellectual 
life of the next century will certainly be im- 
patient of anything which detains it with 
occupations so uninteresting as the putting on 
and taking off of clothes from pursuits more 
attractive. Hence there will doubtless be a 
great deal of simplification of details, the 
greatest practical diminution in the number of 
single objects worn. The essentials of a satis- 
factory outfit will be, first, an inner garment 
next the skin, worn merely for cleanliness ; 
next a middle garment for warmth, and finally 
an outer suit for protection. The innermost 
garment will no doubt be made of some fabric 
not much unlike the soft silky papers now made 
in Japan, so that it can be destroyed as soon as 
it is taken off. It is not in the least likely that so 
insanitary and degrading an occupation as that 
of the washerwoman can survive in a civilisation 
really advanced. The middle garment, com- 
pletely cleansable by vacuum action and oxy- 


genation, will of course have to be made of some 
vegetable fibre like cotton or flax. It will most 
likely be some developed form of " combina- 
tion," easy to put on and take off, fastening by 
means of a single knot or button, and will be 
just tight enough to give freedom to the move- 
ments. Its warmth will be dependent upon 
contained air, and it, like everything else we 
wear, will be highly porous ; for the importance 
of properly ventilating the skin, perfectly well 
understood even now, will by that time be also 
acted upon. Thus far male costume and female 
costume will be practically identical. There is 
no reason to expect, however, that this identity 
will be carried so far as the externals of dress, 
because realising (as we shall of course realise) 
the tendency of the sexes to become less 
divero-ent in their natural and moral character- 


istics, we shall instinctively seek to maintain all 
the salutary and romantic contrast that we can. 
But it is not to be believed that woman, already 
long since emancipated from the corset, will 
have continued a slave to the skirt, the petticoat 
and other restraining garments. With under- 
clothes practically identical with the sensible 
garments of men, our female descendants will 
no doubt wear a costume much like what Miss 
Rehan wore as Rosalind — a tunic and knee- 
skirt (probably in one) with gaiters made of 
some elastic material. 

Deprived as we shall be of animal products. 


the leather boot will naturally be unavailable, 
and a totally different kind of foot covering will 
be used. But it is not the absence of leather 
which will determine this change. Perfectly 
satisfactory boots of the present form are worn 
by some extreme vegetarians already, carrying 
consistency to its limit. With the disappearance 
of the horse from the streets, however — a dis- 
appearance which will doubtless be at least 
seventy years old by this time next century (for 
the motor car is fast pushing out the horse 
already) — the chief need for an entirely imper- 
vious foot-covering- will have been obviated. 
Towns will be sanitary underfoot — they are 
disgusting now — and free from mud ; while the 
drying appliances mentioned in an earlier 
chapter will clear away rain as fast as it falls. 
Consequently it will no longer be necessary to 
wear uncomfortable, unhealthy and deforming 
boots ; the human foot will cease to be the 
source of discomfort It now more or less acutely 
is to nine people out of every ten, and we shall 
be much better walkers and athletes. For 
health will be the consideration dominating all 
our actions, health being a subject of careful 
tuition In every school : and as men and women 
will rarely need to use muscular strength in 
their work, they will gratify the natural yearning 
of healthy animals for exertion, in athletic 
sports, by no means confined to the male sex. 
Whether fashion as an institution will con- 


tinue to exist is doubtful, but probably it will 
not exhibit the extravagances, nor the capricious 
development which now characterise it, and "a 
general uniformity with infinitesimal differ- 
ences," which has been defined as one of 
Nature's uniformities, will be perceptible in the 
natural development of the race. 

Of course one object sought consciously or 
unconsciously to be attained by the use of 
fashions is class distinction ; and similarly 
jewellery is probably worn much more because 
it is a sign of wealth than because of any 
intrinsic beauty which it is supposed to possess. 
At one time a man's occupation (and conse- 
quently his rank in society) could be ascertained 
by his dress ; and sumptuary laws occasionally 
made such distinctions obligatory. It is no 
doubt of some law of his own time that 
Shakespeare was thinking' when he made 
the tribune in Julius Ccssar reprove the work- 
men for appearing on a business-day without 
the leather aprons which marked their trade : — 

" What, know you not 
Being mechanical you ought not walk, 
Upon a labouring day, without the sign 
Of your profession ? " 

Will class distinction survive the democratising 
influence of a century } 

^ At least this was the opinion of the editors of the 
Clarendon Press edition of the Plays. 


The dress of our own time tends to obliterate 
the evidence of these distinctions ; but a 
development from heterogeneity to homogeneity 
is a reversal of the usual law of progress, and 
it can hardly be called a sign of social advance- 
ment that artisans of our day generally wear, 
when at work, the cast-off clothes of the em- 
ploying classes, bought second-hand, and for 
" Sunday best " often ape the fashions of the 
rich. In a hundred years' time assuredly no 
worker will be ambitious to give himself the 
aspect of an idler, and one may perpend the 
dry answer of an American to the remark that 
in the United States there is no leisure-class. 
" Oh, yes, there is," said the moralist, " only we 
don't call them that ; we call them tramps." 
Everyone will take pride in his work, when 
work is no longer treated with the disgraceful 
contempt which we are only by degrees be- 
coming ashamed of. Consequently the clothes 
worn at work will no doubt be, in every trade, 
specially designed to facilitate the exertions of 
the worker : and in the copious hours of 
leisure there will be variety, increased by the 
wearing of special garments for special amuse- 
ments. It is difficult to believe that anyone, 
whatever his work, will dispense with the 
comfort of a complete change of dress when 
play-time comes : and the ingenious simplifica- 
tion of fastenings, and the reduced number of 
garments worn, will facilitate the enjoyment of 


this luxury. Everyone will dress for dinner — 
but not (one fancies) in a '' swallow-tail " coat 
and stiff shirt. It is quite certain that all our 
clothes will be soft, supple, porous, light and 
warm a hundred years hence, and the clear- 
starcher will no longer have the opportunity to 
destroy them. 

Some attempt has already been made to 
suggest the general domestic and architectural 
conveniences of the next century, but the 
subject of furniture has not been referred to in 
detail. Allowing for the fact that animal fabrics, 
as wool, leather, etc., will be absent, there is 
no particular reason why chairs, carpets and 
curtains should be very different from what 
they are now. No doubt light metallic alloys 
will often be used in the framework of chairs 
and tables instead of wood, because the 
tendency of civilisation is to make things 
lighter and less cumbersome whenever this is 
possible. At one time it might have been 
thought that upholstery, carpets and curtains 
would have to be dispensed with. But to a 
thoughtful observer there must always have 
been a difficulty here. A wooden chair, and 
even a rattan one, however cunningly shaped, 
is so extremely discomfortable to sit in without 
cushions, that it was easier to imagine that 
invention would correct the unhealthiness of 
cushions and stuffing, than that an advanced 
age would consent to dispense with these 


luxuries. The manner in which the former 
solution of the difficulty would be attained was 
actually foreseen by the present writer before 
the introduction of vacuum cleaninof was accom- 
plished, and several passages in an earlier 
chapter had to be rewritten when what had 
been somewhat fancifully described as a con- 
venience of the future suddenly became an 
existing factor of the present : and in one or 
two places innovations have similarly called for 
changes in the text — a circumstance which, it 
is to be hoped, will give pause to critics 
disposed to condemn certain suggestions in 
this book as chimerical/ Obviously, now that 
we can thoroughly cleanse and free from every 
particle of dust by a simple mechanical process 
any fabric or mass of fabrics, there is no longer 
any reason to expect that our descendants will, 
on hygienic grounds, find it necessary to 
dispense with comforts so essential to restful 
leisure as easy-chairs, soft carpets and wall 

On the other hand, it is quite certain that 
numerous inventions will enhance and beautify 
the luxury of an age where rational luxury 
will reign universally. One source of frequent 

^ While actually correcting the proof sheets I read in a 
London evening newspaper. The Star, that gramophones 
had been utilised in certain schools for the teaching of 
foreign languages, a device I had suggested in the chapter 
on Education as likely to be adopted in the schools of the 


discomfort to-day is the necessity of living 
always in rooms of one size. Whether we sit 
alone, or entertain a number of friends, the 
same apartment has to serve our needs : con- 
sequently wc are crowded on one day and chilly 
on the next. With combustion abolished as a 
heating device, there will be no objection 
aq^ainst liorht slidinQ^ walls — a convenience long- 
since adopted by our allies the Japanese — which 
would be rather dangerous nowadays and not 
particularly desirable, at all events in England, 
where we have no means of warming most 
rooms except a fire on one side, and no means 
of cooling them at all except by letting in 
draughts and noise through the window. No 
doubt when matches and fireplaces, about 
equally causative of conflagration, have van- 
ished, and when we have invented methods 
of warming the air in houses without the 
horrible drying of it caused by the American 
pipe-stove system, houses will be much more 
lightly built : and it is certainly not going to 
be impossible to use thin, light walls without 
being able to hear in each room every sound 
that occurs in the next. Concurrently, we shall 
be able to chancre the size of rooms — a con- 


venience greater than might be supposed by 
those who have not thought about the matter. 
In summer we shall just as easily cool our 
houses as we shall heat them in winter. Very 
few servants will be required (another great 


comfort) ; and lighting arrangements will 
naturally be free from their present inade- 

Except that no one has yet troubled to think 
about it, there is surely no reason why bathing 
should be such a tedious operation as it is. 
Probably the speediest dresser of our own 
day does not consume less than a quarter of an 
hour over his morning tub and the operation of 
drying himself. A hundred years hence, people 
will be so avid of every moment of life, life 
will be so full of busy delight, that time-saving 
inventions will be at a huge premium. It is 
not because we shall be hurried in nerve- 
shattering anxiety, as it is often complained 
that we now are, but because we shall value at 
its true worth the refining and restful influence 
of leisure, that we shall be impatient of the 
minor tasks of every day. The bath of the 
next century will lave the body speedily with 
oxygenated water delivered with a force that 
will render rubbing unnecessary, and beside it 
will stand the drying cupboard, lined with 
some quickly-moving arrangement of soft 
brushes, and fed with highly desiccated air, 
from which, almost in a moment, the bather 
will emerge, dried, and with a skin gently 
stimulated, and perhaps electrified, to clothe 
himself quickly and pass down the lift to his 
breakfast, which he will eat to the accompani- 
ment of a summary of the morning's news read 


out for the benefit of the family, or whispered 
into his ears by a talking-machine. 

Does this manner of beginning the day sound 
like a nightmare ? That is only because the 
purpose of it has been overlooked. Not be- 
cause they will be "short" of time will our 
descendants thus arrange their lives, but be- 
cause they wish to reserve as much time as 
possible for culture (physical as well as in- 
tellectual) and for thought ; which the better 
distribution of wealth and labour will facilitate ; 
while labour itself, everywhere performed in- 
telligently and with interest, will be no longer 
irksome. The working man will ply his trade 
with zest — working for himself and family — 
instead of seeking every opportunity to shirk 
and evade it. And, his task accomplished, be 
will hasten to enjoyments as elevating as labour 

Will man then, the critic may ask incre- 
dulously, have really been perfected in a 
century ? Decidedly not. But unless we 
doubt the evidence which shows that improved 
institutions not only arise out of improved 
popular character, but also help to promote it, 
we cannot resist the inference that the removal 
of many causes of degradation must bring us 
nearer to perfection, to which the moral evolu- 
tion of the race is slowly proceeding. There 
is nothing Utopian in the belief that honesty, 
truthfulness, respect for the rights of others, will 


be fostered by the increased intelligence of the 
new age; and from the moment when this in- 
telligence, disseminated throughout all society, 
begins to make the moral improvement of the 
race a prime object in every social reform, in 
every piece of legislation (emancipating as well 
as restrictive) we have a right to expect the pro- 
gress of morality to receive a marked impetus. 
" Nature, careless of the single life," will be 
assisted in the perfecting of the moral type, 
and the dishonest man, the liar, the sensualist, 
and the man too stupid to be unselfish, will 
become with every decade less fit for survival, 
because the same unwisdom which is at the 
bottom of his faults will handicap him in the 
battle of life, will hinder him in the competition 
for the right to perpetuate his characteristics 
in children born of his loins. It is only those 
who conceive of the race as capable of remain- 
ing stationary, or moving backward, in morals, 
while in every other respect it moves forward 
with constantly-increasing momentum, who 
imagine that cunning and unscrupulousness 
are likely to be fostered by enlarged civilisa- 
tion. So long as we allow the world to be 
exploited for the selfish advantage of a hand- 
ful of millionaires, no doubt these characteristics 
will continue at a premium. But it is impos- 
sible to believe that the irresistible power of 
the mass of humanity will submit in perpetuity 
to be thus made the tools of a minority. If the 


" ruling" classes wished to maintain that status 
they should have kept the people from the 
schoolroom. Numbers must inevitably pre- 
vail, and the world will have reorganised 
itself in ways which, if we could foresee them 
in their entirety, would suggest an almost 
unthinkable perfection. 


Actor, the (his art), 6r 
Agriculture, economies in, 2i6 

, scientific development of, 127 

Alcohol, abandonment of, 36 

and the law, 242 

and crime, 244 

Alphabet, the, 42 
Anaesthetics, 120 
Animal food, abandonment of, 34, 

Antisepsis and asepsis, 10 
Arboriculture, 217 
Architecture, 194 
Argon, II, 290 
Art, A.D. 2000, 196 
Atheism, 177 


Bacillary diseases, destruction of, 

Ballot, the {its inadequacy), 262 

Bathing, a.d. 2000, 305, 

Bedroom, the, A.D, 2000, 25 

Bellamy, Edward, 5 

Bible, inspiration of the, 176 

Birth-rate, the (its artificial restric- 
tion), 14 

Bread, wholemeal, 34 

Buildings, high, 17 

Calculating machines, 45 
Canada (its future), 97 
Casablanca, 155 
Cereals, 35 

Climate, artificial manipulation of, 

Clothes, A.D. 2000, 294. 
Coal (its utilisation), 7 

, exhaustion of, 104 

Combination, voluntary, as a mode 

of self-government, 210 
Comte, Auguste, 293 
Conscience, public, 185 
Cooper, E. H. {The Twentieth 

Century Child), 145, 150, note 
Co-operation, 51 
Cooking, 22 
Crime and heredity, 251 

and poverty, 244 

elimination, 247 

Criminal appeals (in law), 257 


Daily Telegraph, the, 84 
Darwin, Charles, 179 
Davy, Sir Humphry, 6 
Diplomacy, a.d. 2000, 269 
Domestic servants, iS, 24 
Drainage, 25, note, 127 


Economy in agriculture, 215 

, relation of prices to, 205 

in use of wood, 215 

Edison, T. A., 291 
Education, A.D. 2000, apparatus of, 

, art in, 171 

, books in, 163 

by pleasure, 149 

, corporal punishment in, 144 

, crime in relation to, 234 

, history in, 170 

, rational obedience in, 154 




Education, languages in, 164, 166 

, literature in, 171 

, mathematics in, 163 

, mixed (of boys and girls), 146 

, phonograph in, 141, 303, note 

, physical science in, 161 

, punishments in, 158 

, specialised, 162 

, Spencer on, 151 note 

Education, Intellectual, Moral and 
Physical (^Yi. Spencer), 151, note 
Electricity, the end of its age, 11 

, wireless transmission of, 114 

Eton, punishments at, 144 

Euclid, 157, 15S 

Evolution (the term), 37, note 

Fashion, a.d. 2000, 299 
Flying-machines, 27, 55 
Foods, vegetable, 33 
Freight transportation, 46 
Furniture, A. D. 2000, 302 

Games in education, 143 
Gases, liquefied, as a source of 
power, 116 


Handicrafts, revival of, 50 
Horse traffic (its abolition), 22 
House construction, 20 

cleaning, 21 

Huxley, Thomas H., 6, 179 
Hydrogen, uses of, 9, 102 
Hypnotism, 131 


Id^ography, Chinese, 166, note 

Journalism and literature, 92 
Jury, trial by, 257 


Kelvin, Lord, 108 
Kipling, Rudyard, 147 
Kitchen, the, A.D. 2000, 22 

Lamb, Charles, 158 

Land tenure, 99, 259 

Lang, Andrew, 123, note, 164, note, 

Language, a "universal," 165 
Languages, modern, 19 
Literature, a.d. 2000, 193, 198 

and journalism, 92 

Latey, John, 144 

Law, the, a.d. 2000, 233 

, alcohol and, 241 

, changes in, necessitated 

by new conditions, 240 
, cost of civil suits to be 

borne by Government, 

253 . 

, education and, 234 

, marriage and, 278 

, methods of legislation, 


, ''new offences " and, 234 

, penology and, 249 

, poverty and, 244 

, protective enactments in- 
jurious where avoid- 
able, 239 

, protecting property, 245 

, the person, 246 

, trial by jury, 257 

Legislation, reform of, 266 


Macaulay, Lord, 193 
Manures {see Agriculture), 127 
Marriage, law of, a.d. 2000, 278 
Medicine, progress of, 119 
Memory (children's), 151 
Merchandise Marks Act, 289 
Middleman, the, 88 
Morality and education, 154 

as affected by education, 136, 

130- 235. 

a.^ aftected by progress, 64 

, improving tendency of, 307 



Morality, progress of, 136 
Morris, William, 5 
Motor-cars, slot- worked, 31 
Music, A.D. 2000, 58, 201 

, Oriental, 201 

Musician, the (his art), 62 


Napoleon, 4 

Newspapers, advertisements in, 83 

, editorship of, 68 

, A.D. 2000, how illustrated, 80 

, language of, 82 

, how printed, 79 


Ocean cities, 98 

and the anhydrator, 99 

' , urban traffic in, 98 

Oersted, 117 

Oxygen, uses of, 9, 26, 102 

Ozone and ozonators, 27 

Payn, James, 144 

Parliament, reform of, 260 

Penology, principles of, in a.d. 
2000, 249 

Philosophy, a.d. 2000, 109 

Phonograph, the, 40 

in education, 141, 303, 7iote 

, the printing, 41 

Photography, chromatic, 59 

Plato, 188 

Plumbers (their technical educa- 
tion), 25 

Poetry of the future, 193 

Post Office, the, 276 

in A.D. 2000, 44 

Power, economy of, 212 

Prayer in a.d. 2000, 190 

Press, freedom of the (its possible 
restriction), 247 

Prices, relation of, and economy, 

significance of, 32 

Progress, rate of, i, 135, 288 

Psychical faculties, development 

of, 65, 130 
Punishment, capital, 237, 257 
Punishments, violent, will be 

abandoned, 238 {see Penology) 


Radiation in therapeutics, 119 

Radium, 11, 108, 118 

Railway transport, 27 

Recent Development of Physical 

Science (Whetham), 116, note 
Referejidum, 265 
Religion, a.d. 2000, 175 

, education and, 182 

, high civilisation and, 175 

, indifference towards, 181 

, morality and, 186 

, mysticism and, 186, 188 

, "natural," 188 

, philosophy and, 187 

Review of Reviews, the, 71 
Roadways, moving, 30 

Sahara, desert of, proposal to flood, 

Saleeby, Dr. C. W., 108, 123, 


Salpetriere Hospital, 130 

Scott, Sir Walter, 4 

Sculpture, a.d. 2000, 198 

Sea air, 26 

, the, mineral wealth of, loi 

, utilisation of, 95 

Shakespeare, 186 

Ships, A.D. 2000, 30 

Shorter, Clement K., 144 

Siberia (its future), 93 

Socialism, 51, 206, 210, 273 

Society, gradual progress of, 287 

Socrates, 186 

Spencer, Herbert, 18, 146, w/^, 188, 
287, 292 

Sports, athletic, 54 

State, the, usurpation of wrong 
functions by, 74, 273 {see Social- 

Steam-engine, the (its imperfec- 
tions), 7 

Suburbs, 15 



Talking-machines (see Phono- 
graph), 6 1 

Teleautoscope, the (an instrument 
for seeing by electricity), 43 

Telephones, recording, 39 

Telephony, wireless, ^8 

Theatre, the, 60 

Times, The, 68, 71, 84 

Tobacco, 214 

Trade, retail (its development and 
changes), 86 

Traill, "H. D., 169 

Transmutation of matter, 119 

Travel, pleasures of, 57 

Tyndall, John, 151, note 


Unemployed, problem of the, 48 

Vacuum, cleaning by, 21 
Vice, effect of progress on, 64 


Wages, 33 

and co-operation, 51 

War, abolition of, predicted, 76 

correspondence, 74, note, 76, 

78, note 
, its supposed advantages dis- 
cussed, 226 
Waste by alcohol, 215 

by animal food, 215 

, illness regarded as a, 214 

, sewage disposal a, 215 

, war as a, 219 {see Economy) 

Water, electrolysis of, 8 
Weaklings, perpetuation of, 125 
Wealth, limitation of, 49 
Wellington, 5 
Wells, H. G.,5, 20 
Whetham, W. C, 116, note 
Woman (her political influence), 283 

(her political influence in 

America), 284 

(her political influence in New 

Zealand), 284 

, position of, a.d. 2000, 283, 

{see Law and Marriage) 
Workmen, condition of, 52 
, trains for, 15 








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